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Selling Your Home When You Have Kids

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This incredible sellers’ market might have you thinking “now’s the time to sell!”…but one concern might be holding you back: the kids.

How will you handle the extra work to effectively stage your home when it seems like mere moments after cleaning a room, it’s destroyed again?

How will you juggle getting the kids out of the house for showings?

How will they react to being told you’re moving?

Listen, we get it. Here at Castle Realty, we’re super family friendly. Many of us have kiddos of our own, so we sympathize with your fears about the extra work involved and how they’ll react. But rest assured, kids or no kids, we’re here to help make selling your home quick and stress-free.

Here’s a few tips to help allay fears and streamline the process:

Have The Talk

No, not that talk. But we do recommend, if kids are old enough, being open and upfront about your plan to sell the home. Talk with them early in the process so they’re not surprised by a for-sale sign in the yard.  Change can be hard and moving can feel scary! They likely have many positive memories of the home, and they might be worried about losing touch with their friends from the neighborhood. Share with them why you’re selling the home, and your future plans. Other ideas to help ease their fears and process their feelings include:

  • Inviting them to share their favorite memories of the home with you, or to journal about them
  • Helping them make a plan for staying in touch with friends from the neighborhood
  • Taking photos together around the house, both inside and outside
  • Asking them to draw pictures of the home to take with them

Consider inviting them into the process and look for opportunities to build excitement. You might ask them what features they think you should look for in a new home or offer them the opportunity to choose a paint color for their new room.

Toy Roundup

Even in a sellers’ market, it’s important to stage your home attractively so it looks appealing and prospective buyers can envision themselves living there. Taking the time to ensure the home is neat and tidy, with extra clutter stored away, can help ensure you get the best offers. This can be extra tough with kids, but it’s not impossible. The biggest challenge here is likely—you guessed it—toys.

Let your kids choose their favorite toys to keep out, then pack up and store toys that aren’t played with as frequently. You might even use this opportunity to donate toys the kiddos no longer want or play with and toss those that are in poor condition and no longer needed. Remember: the more you do now, the less there will be to move. (Sick of stepping on Legos or that atrocious noisemaking toy your MIL gave the kids? Now’s your chance for it to get “lost in the move”—kidding!)

Pick up a couple of under-the-bed storage totes, which makes it easy to quickly pack toys away out-of-sight under the bed, while keeping them easily accessible for playtime.

While you’re at it, stock up on a few extra laundry baskets. These make it super simple to do a sweep of the house, toss items in the laundry baskets, then store them away or even put them in the back of your vehicle when you need to leave to accommodate a showing.

Depending on age, get the kids involved in the process. Offer a reward for cleaning their room in advance of a showing. You might even make a game of it. One fun strategy we like is to offer the kids a “commission” when the home sells…if they will do their part to help sell it! This could include things like making their beds each day, putting their toys away, raking the lawn, etc.

Finally, don’t forget to depersonalize the home before a showing, if possible. Store family photos, remove artwork from the fridge, etc. This helps prospective buyers envision themselves living there.

Your Home. Your Schedule.

If you have kids that nap, let us know! Those nap schedules are sacrosanct—we know. We’ll schedule around it. Likewise, if you need a certain amount of notice before a showing so you have time to tidy up, round up the kids, and make a plan for where you’ll go, let your REALTOR know. We’re here to serve you and we want to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.

Keep in mind that the most showings will likely happen right after listing the home, because there will be a lot of interest generated through your REALTOR’s initial marketing efforts. If you can, consider that first or first few weekends as an opportunity to visit friends or grandparents out of town, or take that little mini vacation you’ve been planning. You might find it easier to be away for a full weekend, rather than vacating the house off and on for showings.

For weekday showings, or if you can’t leave for the entire weekend, have a plan for what you’ll do and where you’ll go. If you can, make it fun! Whether that’s dining out, stopping for ice cream or another special treat, or hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa or friends, if kids know they have something to look forward to, they’ll be more cooperative in helping you get out of the house on time. Have little ones? Keep a bag packed and ready with extra clothes, diapers, snacks, books, and toys to help making getting out the door a little easier.

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The bottom line? Selling your home when you have kids is possible, and your Castle REALTOR will make the process as streamlined and stress-free as possible. And just remember, at the end you’ll have a new home to make new memories in. We’re so excited to help you get there. Contact us today to get started, or request your free home valuation!

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