The first rule of home staging is to de-personalize your home as much as possible, but how do you do that if you have kids? Selling your home with kids at home can add an extra challenge to getting your property to present at its best. Without involving Social Services, it will be difficult to get your kids to disappear while you’re selling your home. The next best thing is to maintain as much order as possible and let kids be kids.
Selling Your Home With Kids At Home—And Staying Sane
Clutter correction. Priority one as you begin selling your home with kids at home should be to reduce clutter. Have your kids divide their belongings into three piles: “can live without”, “put in storage” and “can’t live without.” Sell or donate the things in the first pile—giving the proceeds of any sale to your kids can be an incentive. Box and store the items in the second pile—this is easy with seasonal things that won’t get used for half a year or more. Finally, help your child store, display and neatly arrange the things in the final pile.
Getting (and staying) organized. Once you’ve removed the clutter from the kids areas of the home, make sure to kept these areas organized with functional storage. Toy boxes and other storage containers should be placed neatly where appropriate and your kids should be directed to keep their items stored when not in use. Setting limits on the number of things “out of the box” is one way to limit clutter. Having your kids “check” items in and out of storage can be turned into a game that will keep your home neat during the selling effort.
Tone it down. Consider replacing cartoon or superhero-themed rugs, bedding and curtains with neutral fabrics before you begin showing your home. Promote these changes as a chance for your kids to redecorate, while steering them toward appropriate choices. Painting over brightly colored walls in more neutral tones can also make kids rooms more buyer friendly.
Home alone. Consider having your children stay elsewhere when it comes time to show your home. Play dates, outings with a sitter or visits to nearby relatives are all options that kids will see as fun and attractive alternatives to sitting quietly while strangers wander through their home.
Buyers with kids. If you have a larger, multi-bedroom home, chances are good that prospective buyers will have children of their own. Playing to a sympathetic audience doesn’t mean you can ignore the realities of the selling process, however. Your goal is to make your home as attractive to buyers as possible. That means that even though a potential buyer may have kids too, they’ll still be looking to see that your home is neat and well maintained.