Selling your house and especially keeping it “show” ready while living in it can definitely add time and stress to your morning routine, but keeping your house show “ready” with kids may seem downright impossible. Don’t throw in the towel just yet because we’ve got you covered with some proven tricks and tips to get you through all the showings and out the other side in one piece and better yet, with a sold sign on your front lawn.
First thing’s first “exposure“ the more exposure the better when you list your home. It’s a numbers game therefore the more people you get to come through your home the higher your chances are of finding the right buyer. That being said, you can understand why it’s crucial to be flexible in allowing potential buyers to come view your house when they request and at their convenience but this in turn can be a large inconvenience to you and that’s where you’re exit strategy comes into play.
Tip #1 and probably the most crucial is how to create your exit strategy for a quick and clean get away! This is best accomplished by making a list of what needs to get done/cleaned to get your house looking it’s best and to get the whole family out in a timely fashion. Once you have your to-do-list completed delegate to each family member what they are responsible for doing so nothing gets missed.
Tip #2 Have a bag packed with everything that you and the kids will need for example, snacks, toys, games, diapers, wipes and have a destination: neighbours house, grandparents house, park, friends house, library, McD’s play area, etc…
Depending on the age of your children you will encounter different obstacles. If your kids are old enough to help it can make the process a bit easier, their responsibilities could include, making their beds, keeping their room tidy, taking out the garbage, filling the dishwasher, perhaps giving them a little incentive will help to keep them motivated.
If you’re living with young children cleaning your house can feel like, to quote a friend of mine; “trying to brush your teeth with oreos in your mouth”. To make clean up easier, minimize the toys. Cleaning is a lot quicker and easier when there’s less clutter to pick up so pack up the majority of toys and just leave out a select few and keep them in a nice bin, this will save you from picking up the endless mess that these wonderful little humans create….in seconds and also will give you a jump start on packing for your eventual move.
Tip #3 Go buy some large totes, laundry baskets or garbage bags, these items will be your new best friends! Your “exit strategy” works wonders when everyone does their assigned task but for those times when things just aren’t going to plan grab one of your “best friends” and throw all your mess inside, this could include, dirty dishes, laundry, garbage, etc…put it in your garage or basement storage if you don’t have a garage. You can deal with it when you get back and have more time. You don’t want to shove anything in your closets since you want to show off the space your house has to offer to your potential buyers, the last thing you want is all the junk you stuffed in there falling out on them when they open the door.
Tip #4 Find something to keep the kids occupied and still while you execute your “exit strategy”. I know it’s frowned upon for children under 2 to watch television or screen time in general, but if it gives you 10 minutes of free time to tidy I say put it on and go for it. *Fun Fact* If you have an iPhone or iPad there’s a feature called “guided access” that will disable buttons and touch screen, this way you don’t need to worry about them making a call or pressing something they shouldn’t.
Tip #6 Make a check list, this check list will include everything that was on your to-do-list. Pack your family up in the vehicle or keep them contained at the door while you go through and do a quick final check that nothing has been missed or overlooked this includes checking the toilets have all been flushed, you don’t want to surprise your potential buyers, if you know what I mean.
Selling your house with kids isn’t a walk in the park but with these tips and a good real estate professional to advise you we can ease the process and achieve your ultimate goal of getting your home sold and on to the next exciting chapter.