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Messy Kids? This is the Home Staging Advice You Really Need
You’ve read every home selling guide out there. You’ve dug deep into home staging tips, discovered the value of great curb appeal, and learned exactly what to expect from closing day. But every time, you’re left thinking the same thing: There’s no way this is happening with kids in the house.
Most home staging advice neglects the fact that while your home is for sale, you still have to live there! Tiptoeing around freshly-shampooed carpets and keeping spillables far from rental furniture is doable for adults. But add toddlers to the mix and selling a house gets a lot harder.
If you’re desperate for realistic advice about selling a house with children, these tips are for you.
Make Time for Showings
Getting everyone out of the house during showings is a feat, but you can minimize frantic scrambles out the door by establishing a showing schedule with your agent. If you can guarantee an empty house on a couple of weeknights and one weekend day, your real estate agent can schedule showings during those times.
However, it’s also important to be flexible so you don’t miss out on a sale. Tidy up daily so that when your agent calls about a last-minute showing, you can clean up and leave quickly. If you make sure the dishes are done and beds are made daily, all you need to do before a last-minute showing is check for odors, pick up clutter, open the curtains, and a few other quick tasks.
Deep Clean Without Disruption
Deep cleaning to sell isn’t like your standard spring cleaning. You’ll clean spaces you’ve possibly never cleaned (or even thought about) before.
The last thing you want is to spend more time cleaning than necessary. But unless your kids are old enough to help, they’re guaranteed to slow down the process. Send the kids to Grandma’s for the weekend or book a sitter to take the kids out for a day.
You can’t keep the kids away forever, so you also need strategies for maintaining cleanliness. Protect furniture with throw blankets and slipcovers, place scatter rugs in high-traffic areas, and restrict playtime to one room that’s easy to clean.
Fix Up the Family Home
Family life takes a beating on homes. Cleaning erases some of the evidence, but not everything.
Instead of trying to steam clean years of juice stains and funky odors out of carpeting, get rid of it. Most homeowners prefer hardwood floors or hardwood alternatives, so this is a good opportunity to upgrade and add value to your home.
If the walls are covered in greasy fingerprints and crayon drawings, repaint. Spot cleaning leaves discolored patches behind, and no matter how much you rearrange furniture, you can’t hide everything.
Speaking of repainting: While your kid may love her purple bedroom walls, buyers won’t. Repaint brightly-colored walls to neutral colors. You can’t go wrong with beige, grey, or greige.
Once you’ve dealt with the big issues, do a sweep of the house looking for minor repairs like gouges in baseboards and window sills, holes in screens, and the loose towel bars your toddler loves to hang on.
Conquer Kid Clutter
You’ve dealt with your children’s unique decorating tastes, but what about the dollhouses, easels, and other toys taking over your home?
Put large toys into storage so they’re not the first thing buyers notice, and take the opportunity to donate old toys your kids have outgrown. You don’t have to get rid of everything, but restrict the toys you keep to what’s easily hidden in storage cabinets and trunks.
Address other kid clutter too, like the trophies on the mantle and report cards posted to the fridge, and take down your family photos. It feels strange to live in a depersonalized home, but homes that look like model homes sell better.
As tempting as it may be, you don’t have to send your kids away for a month in order to sell your house. By tackling the big projects before you list and establishing routines while your home is on the market, you can keep your house clean, your kids happy, and your sanity intact!
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