So you’ve decided to make a move and sell your house. Maybe you are upgrading from a starter home to something a bit bigger with your expanding family, or maybe you are relocating. Either way your goal is the same. SELL YOUR HOUSE! and fast!
If you are in a seller’s market then you are in luck and you may not have to worry quite as much about making your house picture perfect. Though, to get the best price it’s always good to put your best foot forward. But for the rest of you, every move you make in preparation of when that first potential buyer walks in to your home can make a difference.
Most know that a clean and tidy home makes a much better first impression than a messy one. But keeping your house in tip top shape is so much harder when you have kids in the home. Because kids like to be messy. They like to break things. They like to draw on surfaces that shouldn’t be drawn on. They like to drag food in places food should never be…you get the picture.
And the toys. So.many.toys. How do you keep the overflowing mountain of crap from completely ruining the vibe of the home?
Selling a home is an overwhelming process, so here’s 5 tips on how to stage a house to sell with kids:
*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. What the hell does that mean? It means that if you click one of the product links below and purchase something, I am eligible for compensation. Carry on.
- Declutter and purge. First and foremost you MUST go through all of your stuff and get rid of as much as you can. Donate, sell, giveaway, curb it, store it, just remove the clutter from your home. This includes the framed family photos hanging on the wall, the tchotchkes that you decorate with, oversized furniture or furniture that has seen better days (because kids like to jump on them), and the toys. A buyer wants to be able to come in to a home and envision themselves living there. If they are distracted by the personal touches of the homeowners, or all of the kids toys they see placed against the walls, they may not be able to get past it. The home should feel as big as possible, as if you had so much space you didn’t have enough stuff to fill (even if your closets have been stuffed to capacity for years, they don’t need to know that!).Don’t remove all personality from the space, just clean up the aesthetics. Have you ever seen a house for sale on HGTV that you loved and it was a cluttered up mess with toys in every corner? Nope, they are always clutter free!
- Invest in some cute storage solutions that will double as decor. One of the hardest parts of selling a home with kids is you can’t get rid of ALL the toys. Who knows how long it will take to sell the home? But you also need to have a place to put them all quickly if you get a last minute showing. Invest in some cute baskets, bins, tubs, side tables, ottomans, etc., that you can use as furniture decor, but secretly stashes all those toys and clutter. I used storage baskets like these in my living room and threw toys on the bottom and added a throw blanket on top. Cute decor, great toy storage, win-win! In your kid’s rooms you can opt for storage ottomans like this one that match the decor of the room, but remove the visual clutter of the toys from being the focus. And try to avoid shoving all the toys in their closet. Home buyers ALWAYS open the closets when they walk through. Keep those tidy!
- Figure out a go-to place to take your kids when there’s an inconvenient showing. It never fails, your agent calls you up and says a potential buyer is coming by in an hour. You scramble for the next 45 minutes to clean up the house and you pile your kids in the car and take off. But where do you go?Showings can last 15 minutes to an hour (sometimes longer!) so pick a spot that you know you can hang for a good amount of time. The park is a good option, but be sure to have some water or snacks on hand in case the kids get worn out before you can get back to the house. If you’ve got a neighbor or a friend nearby let them know you may be coming over for some impromptu play dates for the foreseeable future!
- Plan for some kid-friendly, non-stinky, somewhat less messy meals. Your house will be the cleanest it’s ever been and you are going to try your hardest to keep it that way. And one thing that will set a potential home buyer running is a stinky smell coming from your house.So come to terms that you may consume lots of PB&Js and cereal because you won’t want to dirty dishes, make a mess of the stove, or have a mystery smell leftover from a crock pot meal fouling up a house showing.
- Repair any damage your kids may have done in the house. I’m talking about touching up scuff marks on the wall and trim, patch the holes in the wall, buff out scratches in the floor. Basically, try to make it seem like the children in the house live like civilized human beings. A potential home buyer wants to see that you have cared for your home and by making these small repairs and touch ups, the home will look like it’s in tip top shape!
Hopefully these tips will help you stage your home to sell! The faster you sell, the faster you can get back to living a normal life again. And if you don’t miss the toys that you’ve been storing, feel free to NEVER BRING THEM BACK! Added bonus!
What tips do you have for staging your home to sell when you have young kids in the home?