Selling Your Home When You Have Kids
Selling your home can be an involved process while you manage the tasks that are involved in your regular daily life. For those of you who have children, the process can be even more complicated. Not only do you have to worry about getting yourself prepared, but you have to devise a strategy with your kids from getting them prepared for the move to keeping them under control during open houses and showings. Here is a plan with tips that can assist with making things go more smoothly.
Preparing your home
The first thing you will want to do is get the home physically prepared. During this stage if your kids are willing to assist, great! If not, make arrangements for them to be cared for while you complete these steps.
Declutter – Start by getting rid of all the toys laying around the house and create a designated area for them. Ideally a kid’s room is best to store them.
Dealing with kids while packing – It is a good rule of thumb to involve your kids in the move process and get them excited about it. Give them choices of which items they want to keep and which they want to donate. Keeping the whole process positive will help them transition.
Deep Clean – Inspect and clean the whole house from top to bottom, literally. Dirty walls, windows, cabinets and floors should all be wiped down and rid of grime or marks.
Freshen up paint – Aside from overly worn walls, painting with a neutral palette will appeal to nearly all buyers. The more fresh and neutral the home is, buyers will feel there is less work for them to do when moving in.
Clean flooring – Especially if you have carpeting, you may need to take a look at replacing it. Kids can be tougher on carpets and it is usually cheaper to replace them yourselves than providing a buyer with a credit.
Staging – Once you have the house all clean, it is important to keep it that way. Before you stress out, there are really only some occasions when it must show perfectly. The first is when professional photos are taken. After that, open houses and whenever private showings are scheduled then the house should be in excellent condition.
Managing kids during showings
Create a schedule if necessary – Showings can be requested at any time, but it is common for many to be after work. If your family has any regular times when you are all out of the house then you should share these times with your agent as they will be optimal for showings.
Have a plan – For the times that showings have less lead time, have a plan in place on how to prepare quickly. Create a checklist of what needs to be done like placing toys in bins, wiping down counters and bathrooms and then pick a place that is easy to go to during the showings like a nearby park.
Help your kids cope
Child development – Studies show that frequent moves can be tough on a child. Depending on the reason for the move, but keeping positive and supportive will help make it easier on them.
Making new friends – Doing a combination of staying in touch with old friends while getting involved in local activities in your new area will help foster friendships.
Involvement in sale process – Involve your children when they show interest. If they do not, don’t force them but be open to answering any questions or concerns that they may have.
Different behavior – Reports will say that some temporary changes in mood will be normal for most kids during a move. However, if these negative changes last more than a couple of months than you should seek help for them.
Different reactions at different ages
Babies – Infants are the easiest to deal with with regards to settling into a new home. So long as you remain calm and nurturing then they will follow.
Toddlers – Similar to babies, they will follow your calm and positive attitude. Frequent moves, however, can take their toll on toddlers so be sure to encourage them to share their feelings with you.
Youngsters – Children in the 5 to 7 age range are likely to mimic your attitude so once again keep it positive. The good thing about kids this age is that they can understand better and communication is made easier.
Pre-teen – Kids 8 to 12 typically have the biggest problem moving if changing schools. No matter when you end up selling, it is best if you do so quickly so your school transition schedule stays on track.
Teenagers – With teenagers it is important to stay open with communication and discuss their feelings. In some cases when families move with kids in high school, it can sometimes work better for them to find a way to finish out high school and join the family later. Alternatively they may benefit from being more involved in the process and asking them what they want in a new home. If the distance allows, they can always visit their friends from their previous school.