Smart Tips for Selling Your Home While Living in it With Kids
Selling your house is a big undertaking that comes with a fair amount of exhilaration when potential buyers line up to take a gander at your home. Before that happens, though, you have to prep your home for sale—and that means keeping it in tiptop shape for showings.
If you have young kids, you’re probably laughing or having an anxiety attack at this notion. After all, how on Earth can you get hundreds of Lego bricks, piles of dirty laundry, and the remains of that morning’s breakfast out of sight before you hustle everyone out of the house every single day? Any parent who has shared living space with a toddler will tell you that’s asking a lot.
But don’t stress; we have some tips and tricks that will help you list and sell your home while working around your littlest residents.
Get kids to help you declutter
The first task, obviously, is to declutter. Enlist your kids' help so they feel involved in the process.
Older kids are usually good about keeping their rooms clean, but offering more allowance money or special privileges can motivate them. Younger kids are a little tougher to convince. Perhaps try a reward chart system. Give your kids a sticker each time they pick up toys or help clean their room. Once they’ve filled their chart, let them choose a special toy or treat as a reward so the process becomes less stressful and more fun.
Let them pack their own items
Another way to engage your children’s help is to sit down with them and make a list of their toys, books, clothes, and games, then assign them certain items to pick up and pack away. Try letting your kids label and decorate moving boxes for extra measure. (What kid doesn’t love to go to town on cardboard boxes with a box of crayons or markers?!)
Ask your kids to pick their favorite toys so they can keep playing with them, and have them store the rest away.
Buyers understand that your entire life isn’t on hold for showings. Try to put toys away, make the beds, and keep the surfaces neat, but don’t obsess over the details in these rooms.
It’s OK to let kids be kids; buyers aren’t going to judge the whole house based on your kid’s bedroom.
Buyers coming over? Field trip!
After your home hits the market, you’ll need to think about what to do with your kids when buyers come to scope out your place. That’s where a little preparation and planning go a long way.
Selling can be very disruptive to a family’s schedule, but try to make showing times fun so your kids get excited about showings instead of dreading them. Take them out to eat, go for ice cream, visit a relative or friend, go to the park, or stop by the library.
Don’t forget to keep a small stockpile of activities, snacks, and drinks ready for those one-off showings where you need to grab and go.
Once your house finally sells, grab an adult beverage and congratulate yourself profusely on making it through the listing process with your sanity (and your kids!) intact.