Moving with Children


Essential Tips for the Busy Parent Getting Their Home Ready to Sell

Getting your home ready to sell can feel impossible when you have kids. Sometimes they don’t understand why you’re moving, and even if they do, they don’t want to move. Sometimes they don’t feel like helping you in your efforts to maintain a clean and clutter-free environment for showings. Other times, kids want to help, and it’s still challenging. Nonetheless, you can get your home ready to sell as a busy parent, and the following tips can help.

Create space

The first order of business is to declutter, which can result in a quicker sale. Many families move homes because they are running out of space, and if this is your story, decluttering could prove challenging. The best way to begin is to go through each room and purge your belongings. Anything that you don’t want to keep, throw it away or put it in a donation/sell bin. Remember that the more you get rid of, the more room you will create for potential buyers to envision themselves in your home, and the less you will have to move to your new home.

There will be items that you don’t want to get rid of but that you don’t need right now. Such items could include toys, seasonal clothing, holiday decorations, furniture and so on. Consider putting these belongings in self-storage while your home is on the market. This will allow you to clean and tidy up faster when you have an upcoming showing (especially if it’s last-minute). If you don’t like the idea of using an external storage unit, perhaps you could find new storage solutions within your home. It might even be an idea to take a look at storage sheds to keep your belongings out of the way but still with you. An external garage can also boost the value of your home and make it more desirable to some buyers.

Get the kids involved

Along with decluttering your belongings, it’s important to include your kids as much as possible. This can help your kids feel better about the move and make the whole process go more smoothly. If possible, tell them a month or more in advance that you’re moving, and explain why. Be sure to emphasize the positive aspects of your new home and neighborhood/town, and commit to keeping important family routines and traditions intact. Also, if they’re old enough, let your kids make decisions with you – such as which items to keep when decluttering – and ask them to help out around the house while it’s on the market.

Opt for showings over open houses

Open houses are great – when you don’t have kids. But they can be overwhelming for children, especially when they’re younger. Instead, try to schedule showings, and coordinate for your kids to be out of the house so buyers can view the home in peace and quiet. If possible, work out a plan with your real estate agent to give you at least two hours notice before showings. This should give you enough time to clean up and get everyone out of the home.

If you have little time in advance to get the home ready for showing, it’s a good idea to bring in a housekeeper. Not to be confused with a cleaning service, which can deep clean your home, a housekeeper will make sure that routine housework is taken care of. You can expect them to do general house cleaning like sweeping and dusting, yard care like watering the plants, and bedroom tidying. Make sure you look at reviews before settling on a service, and note that the average cost of one visit is about $100.

Have a game plan for immediate showings

While it’s optimal to arrange showings in advance when you have kids, it’s still wise to have a plan in case there is a last-minute showing. After all, if a potential buyer is interested, it can prove worth the inconvenience. Come up with a checklist of tasks to complete in this scenario, such as:

  • Turning on the lights
  • Opening the drapes and blinds
  • Clearing clutter off the counters
  • Putting toys away
  • Throwing trash out
  • Putting down the toilet seats

As stressful and difficult as it may be, you can make and keep your home ready for sale when you have kids. Open up the space in your home by decluttering and putting items you want to keep in storage. Talk with your kids about the move, and include them in as much of the process as possible. Rather than scheduling open houses, go with showings so that you will be able to better manage the presentation of your home. Finally, come up with a plan for last-minute showings that everyone can help with.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Guest Author: Kris Louis —