Selling a home while you’re still living in it isn’t easy, but selling a home when you still live in it and have kids is infinitely harder.
From the ongoing hunt for stray toys to buyers who turn their noses up at your daughter’s princess pink bedroom walls, you’ll have a lot on your plate—but you can still make sure you get great offers when selling with kids.
To get the most offers (and the best deal), you’ll have to present your home as a blank canvas anyone could love and not just a home fit for kids.
Here’s how to pull it off.
Stage for Everyone
While some buyers will likely have children of their own—or plan to have children—potential buyers who don’t will have a hard time picturing themselves in a house full of children’s belongings.
To make your home appeal to the widest range of buyers possible, you’ll need to minimize your children’s presence throughout the house:
*Put toys in toy boxes. If you’re using clear boxes, put those in the closet out of sight.
*Remove children’s artwork from refrigerators and walls. Store in a safe place until you’re done showing the home.
*Store backpacks, coats and children’s shoes in the hallway closet or in a mudroom cupboard.
*Check under the bed and other favorite hiding spots for stray toys.
Most buyers look for multi-purpose rooms they can tailor to fit their own lifestyle. If you have a room in your home—a game room, den or office—currently
configured as a playroom, be sure to stage the area before you start showing the house to potential buyers.
*Remove any toys, video game systems or play sets from the room.
*Place common use furniture like a sofa or small desk in the room to help fill the space.
*Keep decorations to a minimum to highlight the size of the room.
*Clean any marker, paint or other stains from the flooring or walls.
By creating a minimalist open space, buyers can picture their own belongings in the room.
Prep the Bedrooms
Children’s bedrooms can be a hard sell to all buyers. To make bedrooms appear to have universal appeal, you’ll have to do some staging.
*If you’ve used kid-themed wallpaper, paint colors like pink and baby blue or painted a mural on a wall in your child’s bedroom, it might be a good idea to
repaint the room to a neutral color scheme.
*Store stuffed animals, dolls and other toys normally kept out in the bedroom in a closet while you’re showing your property.
*Remove any small décor touches like a pirate-themed light switch or princess ceiling fan pull.
Keeping Your Kids Sane
Many kids struggle with the idea of moving in general and won’t love the idea of packing up their stuff early. To make the transition easier on your kids, let them pick out their favorite toys, books and stuffed animals. Store those items in an easily accessible box you can take out after every showing.
By having their favorite stuff around every night, they’ll feel more comfortable during this period of flux.