Sellers with kid are going to love this month’s lesson plan! It’s all about putting your best foot forward while ensuring a happy and peaceful family life during selling. We know the thought of going on the market can be overwhelming with a houseful of little (& big!) peeps -- but no worries! Our summer tips can help you do it successfully while keeping your sanity!
Start with the basic three D’s of staging including decluttering, depersonalizing main rooms of the home, and deep cleaning. Next, rally the kids to help with tidying up and depersonalizing their spaces. Scavenger hunts work great when it comes to decluttering. Remind them that the team goal is to score (attract) lots of buyers, even those without children and pets. Keeping the family focused on that exciting new/next house can also win support for your side!
Breakout Session: We love the idea of holding regular family meetings to imagine who will buy your house (art project!), chat about what’s ahead for the next few months and together create a colorful chore chart for both the selling prep phase and a second one to use once the house goes on the market. Some families have even written good-bye letters to the house to share with buyers after closing; and buried sweet mementos in the back yard as a thoughtful farewell . And please don’t forget to make a fun photo book with pictures of each room of the house before you start your selling prep!
By keeping them connected to the selling process and nurturing their ideas and concerns, your children can become remarkable players rooting for the home team!
Here’s our winning list of selling tips for families:
Klearing Kid Stuff and Kreating Buyer-Friendly Zones:
1) Store square-footage stealing baby gear (like highchairs, plastic swings, jumpers, etc.) in a single room – especially for MLS photos and showings
2) Toys should be relocated to children’s bedrooms and/or a designated playroom or play space
3) Protect your family’s privacy by removing and packing items with children’s name on it including awards, trophies, certificates and personalized art (Zillow)
4) Keep that floor decluttered – especially items on the floor that make the spaces feel smaller (i.e. doll houses, kitchens, lego creations, stacks of clothes, etc.)
5) Be vertically inclined – as in considering the busyness of wall space as well as floor space. We suggest limiting art to just two walls in any room. And please no vinyl clings, tapped posters or wall stickers
6) Create hiding places for last minute showings (i.e. empty a few bedroom drawers, storage ottomans/trunks, wicker baskets that can fit in a closet, organizers under your bed, etc.) (Zillow)
Kickin’ Kids’s Rooms that Really Sell:
1) Just like the other rooms of your house, go neutral. This includes neutral bedding, colors, and furniture. Got a Frozen Elsa Princess or Sheriff Woody themed bedroom? Try flipping over patterned comforters to show a solid color under-side and top with simple white pillowcases. Buyers will be able to imagine the many potential uses for these rooms (like a home office or work out room for example) without having to visually remove all the scene robbing props.
2) Be a proud mama or papa and display your kid’s “framed” artwork (make sure it’s depersonalized and adds a nice pop of color). Hang in laundry rooms, mudrooms, kid’s bedrooms, bathrooms or bedroom halls. Shop for budget-friendly simple frames. Also, vibrant hardbound children’s books can be a great staging tool in bookcases, on desks and nightstands, and in a fun basket next to a chair.
3) Paring down kid’s toys doesn’t have to be a challenge; keep a decorative neutral basket with a lid or a toy box close by in their bedrooms or closet to keep just their most favorite toys in. Other toys should be packed for the move to the new house, donated or given to other family members (who don’t live in your house!).
Finally, if you are wondering what to do with the kids this summer when you have showings, we recommend always having a “go” bag of snacks, water and other necessities packed and ready with lots of fun options of places to go. You’ll be ready to go as quickly as possible for those last-minute showings – and your listing agent will love you! Plan to be away for at least an hour for each showing. And don’t forget to include the pets when you load up the kids and back out of the garage!
You see?! With a few key steps, selling and kids (and pets) really are a winning mix!