5 Tips For Selling A Home With Kids Without the Stress
Selling a home with kids or without can be a hectic time, but it doesn't have to be. There are ways that you can help extinguish the stress aspect for both you and your children. Children often have a lot of questions and they will pick up on your energy as well. To help make your sale easier here are 5 tips for selling a home with kids without the stress!
#1 Give It To Them Straight!
Kids are curious by nature and if something is going on they are going to want to know what it is! Don't try to hide your move from your children it will only make them feel out of the loop and like they are being lied to. You will want to tell your children honestly that you are moving. Explain to them why you are moving so that they understand and make sure that you are answering all of their questions as honestly as possible. This will put their minds at ease and help to make sure that you and your children maintain an open communication throughout the process. Ferris Property Group even suggests hosting a going away party in his article How to Prepare Kids for a Move.
#2 Get Your Kids Involved
It is a child's natural state of being to want to play and discover and try new things. Make your home selling process all about this for them. Let this be a chance to take out all of their old toys, clothes and books that they no longer use and talk to them about donating them to a child who has nothing. Go shopping and pick out some storage containers that they can label and organize their stuff in...but let them choose the containers! This is still their room and the new containers will make packing easier when that time comes. Teresa Cowart has some great organization tips for boys and girls rooms in her article PREPARE YOUR CHILD’S ROOM FOR SHOWINGS – GETTING IT ORGANIZED Let them help you reorganize and clean the house so that they feel like they are part of the process and let them know when someone is coming to see your home and when you get an offer. Allow them to feel like they are part of this process! This is one of the best pieces of advice I could ever give for selling a home with kids.
#3 Watch Your Energy
Children are like little emotional sponges; they can feel everything you are feeling. Make sure that you are making this experience joyful and exciting for them and for yourself. Whether this was a choice of necessity because of some factor like a new job or financially downsizing, or if it is a choice in order to buy a bigger home or move closer to other family members, you and your kids need to look at this as an exciting new adventure that you are going on. Fear of the unknown can spread it's way through your family like a deadly poison causing undo stress and irritation. Make sure that you are putting a stop to it from the beginning by creating an atmosphere of fun and anticipation for you and for your children. Selling a home with kids doesn't have to be stressful, you can keep the lines of communication open and talk about their fears with them and comfort them as you go making it a more joyful experience for the whole family. Once you have moved there are some things that you can do to make the settling in process easier. Barb Bottitta has written a wonderful article called How To Explain Moving To Children and if you look at the second half she has some fantastic ideas on how to make settling into your new home less stressful.
#4 Have A Plan For Show Time
It is important that any buyer coming to look at your home find it empty of all dirty dishes, bad smells (cat litter box, dirty clothes, pet odors, etc) clutter, personal photographs and you and your kids. A buyer needs to be able to imagine themselves living in their new home. If you and your kids are there then they will be imagining living in your home and taking it from those adorable little children and it will make them uncomfortable. You need to have a plan for what you are going to do during showing times and you need to have a bag packed for each of your children with necessities like diapers, snacks, toys, change of clothes, formula, books and other things to keep them occupied. Kyle Hiscock has a wonderful list of ideas on how you can let your children help you clean up before a showing and where you can go while your agent shows your house in his article Tips For Selling A Home With Kids
#5 Stay Organized
Selling a home with kids needs to be a very organized process in order to eliminate undo stress on you and your children. To make sure that you are organized make sure to talk to your agent about good show times and have them let you know in advance so you can tidy up the house and your children can tidy up their rooms. Also have their show bags packed and in the car so that you can leave quickly and easily without the fear of forgetting something. Deb Rhodes has some great suggestions including getting small chalk boards for each of your children and writing a job list of things that they need to do to keep their room and the house tidy between showings in her article How to Stay Sane When Listing Your House....with Kids