House selling can be stressful at the best of times. But it’s another ball-game when you add kids into the mix. Even more so, if you are in a rush (maybe you have to move for a new job or school) and you need to sell your house fast.
How do you manage the children and maintain a sale-ready home?
Small kids are experts at creating chaos and mess. This can put a major spanner in the works when you’re against the clock to get your home looking immaculate.
But, don’t worry it doesn’t have to be a total nightmare and you can get through it without a tantrum apocalypse. Here are 8 way to help you get your home sale-ready fast and keep the kids happy.
1. Don’t Ignore the Kids
As the adage says, ‘if you can’t beat them join them’. Or in this case, get them involved. Small kids love having little jobs. Assign small tasks so they feel included in what’s happening. If you’re redecorating give them a small paintbrush or if you’re tidying the garden, ask them to help.
2. Get Rid of Your Stuff
Decluttering can be a challenge but it’s essential if you want to sell your house quickly. Prospective buyers want to imagine themselves living in your home and they can’t do if it’s full of all your things. Kids might find this unsettling so get them involved by giving them their own box to fill. Or, if possible, ask a friend or family to take them for the day.
3. Kid Clutter (aka Toys)
There’s your clutter and then there’s kids clutter. Cleaning up is a great opportunity to get rid of unwanted toys. But, remember kids might find it hard to part with their things.
- Explain to them what’s happening
- Give them choices — do they want to keep this or that
- Try to make it into a game and see who can pick up the most toys
Ideally, you want to keep only a single box of favourite toys during viewings.
4. Deep Clean
Great, your home is looking spotless and clean. But then the kids come running through the door. And within minutes all your hard work is undone. Suddenly there are dirty fingerprints on walls, half eaten biscuits behind the sofa and unidentifiable carpet stains.
How do you keep your home looking spotless for the duration of viewings?
- Keep cleaning products to hand
- Designate a single room for play and eating
- Place wet wipes or cleaning clothes within easy reach
- Check hotspot areas every evening to keep on top
You want to create a neutral space. This means painting over kids feature walls. Buyers don’t want to see blackboards and wall stickers of spaceships or cats. Remove all eyesores — holiday souvenirs, stones or wooden sticks (kids love collecting these), ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ posters and toddler artwork.
Once your house is clean and tidy, it’s time to work on ‘staging’ to maximise its appeal.
- Put out fresh flowers
- Remove bad smells with air freshener
- Place mirrors to create more space
- Open curtains to let light in
- Move furniture around to allow the best view of a room.
Be prepared once the kids arrive things may move. Each evening or morning set time aside to correct any big changes and move things back into place.
7. Schedule Showings
The family diary can be a crazy thing. If you can schedule viewings to work around your kids this will help you stay on top. Most people like to view properties either before work or after 5 pm and then during the weekend. Here are few tips:
- Designate two or three evenings a week for a family meal out and get your estate agent to book multiple or groups viewings on those evenings so can keep the rest free
- Send kids to friends and family during weekend viewings
- Be prepared to get the house ready at short notice. For instance, have bin liners to hand and keep the trunk of your car free so you can put things in it quickly.
8. Support Kids Emotionally
Kids might feel emotional about the idea of selling your home to a stranger — help them through the process. How they react will depend on their age and personality. Keep the same routine, be positive, make it fun.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If it’s not perfect that’s ok too. Trying to sell your house fast with kids might seem like an impossible challenge. But, with a little planning, you’ll get through it.