Tips for Selling with Kids
To be clear, this is an article on selling WITH kids, not selling kids. Although, most parents have probably thought about it. Like when your three-year-old is standing in the middle of the public pool, screaming her refusal to get out at a pitch that instantly takes 1.42 years off your life, and you’re fully dressed, pacing the perimeter, and trying to reason with her that lessons are over, while you ignore the judgmental stares, wipe the excessive sweat from your upper lip and resist the urge to curl up in the fetal position. No? Well, anyway, selling WITH kids can actually be quite painless, as long as you’re organized and follow these basic tips.
Clearing the clutter is a big part of getting your home ready for sale, but it can often seem overwhelming. Particularly, if you have kids. As soon as you find out that you’re going to be a parent, you start to amass stuff. So. Much. Stuff. They may be little, but the loves of our lives take up a lot of floor space. And it doesn’t seem to taper as they get older.
Give your kids each one box that they can fill with the things that they absolutely cannot do without while your home is for sale. Everything else should be packed for storage. At this stage, it’s also a good idea to sell or donate items that they no longer need or want. Why pay to store something when you don’t have to?
If your kids are too little to pack their own boxes, you can do it for them. I would suggest, however, doing it when they’re not around, because the minute you touch something, even if it has been ignored for a year, they’re going to want it. Either that, or they will promptly remove everything you place in the box with a swiftness that is truly impressive.
MATISSE IN THE MAKING
If you’re like me, you have kept and displayed every little craft project or picture that your child has ever made. EVER. While you may enjoy having every surface of your home decorated with your little one’s creative expressions, chances are a potential buyer has zero interest in the sticker display on the living room window. Some design-savvy parents have found really beautiful ways to display their kids’ art, but more often than not, it all needs to come down, especially anything that is casually stuck up with tape.
Showings are inconvenient, especially if you have kids, and especially if they’re booked at the last minute. Talk to your realtor about trying to give you two hours’ notice before a showing. It also helps to make a checklist of everything that you must do in that two-hour window, so you’re not running around in a panic when you get the call.
LET IT GO
When my little brother was nine, my parents decided to put our house on the market. Faced with the reality of having to make his bed every morning before school, my bro decided, instead, to make it once and sleep on the floor for the duration. True story. Fortunately, for him, the house sold quickly. The truth is, yes, you are selling your home, and it needs to be clean and look presentable. But you also need to enjoy your days with your kids. Everyone knows that kids and messes are a package deal, so at the end of the day, just do your best at being organized and let the little things go. And again, by little things, I don’t mean your kids.