Selling a house is enough of a juggling act without adding kids to the bustle. We love our children, but they do not understand a house sale, or why strangers (i.e., your buyers) are walking through their home.
Believe it or not, your children could drag out a house sale. Every child’s superpower is to make a mess, get underfoot, and take up your time and energy. You’re exhausted keeping up with them, and you’ve no energy left to clean and stage for walkthroughs.
67% of all home sellers have at least one child living at home, so you’re not alone. Here are 8 steps you can take to get to closing day faster in spite of your kids.
Step 1: Deep Clean
Send the kids to a friend’s house and spend the day cleaning. Hire a professional cleaning service, if you can afford it. Otherwise, you are responsible for crayon on the walls, juice spills on carpets, handprints on windows, etc.
Clear the toys in the hallway and put all belongings in their proper place. You’ll have an easier time staging rooms if the messes are cleared away.
Step 2: Get Rid of Clutter
Kids are really good at spreading their toys throughout the house. Toys seem to accumulate everywhere, and it’s too much. The same happens with adults – we all collect and hoard.
It’s time to get rid of the clutter! With your child’s help, fill a box with toys they can part with, and fill some boxes of your own. Donate these, and then get a head start on packing.
Be mindful of eyesores, like the Barbie Playhouse or the Play Kitchen, and put these out of sight.
Step 3: Paint Over Kid-Themed Walls
Buyers want to envision their own lives in your house. Your child’s room, with its brightly painted colors or cutesy wallpaper with the animal prints, can overwhelm visitors.
Best thing you can do is paint over the walls in plain white or with a color that is not so loud. This way, buyers can picture the room to be anything they want, and they don’t need to worry about painting over the walls themselves.
Step 4: Take Photos of the Staged House
While the kids are away, and the house is clean, take photos of its staged rooms for its listing. This way, buyers know what the house looks like when it’s at its best.
Step 5: Remove Yourself and the Kids from Showings
If you have a realtor, let them manage the walkthroughs, while you take the kiddos out for the day. If you are selling FSBO, ask a friend or family member to watch the children while you entertain buyers.
Sell the House “AS-IS” to an Investor
If you want to forgo all this work and sell in less than 30 days, consider selling to a real estate investor. Most investors make a cash offer on a property, no matter what condition it’s in, be it damaged, neglected, or outdated. They do not require traditional sale warranties or inspections and will pay all closing costs and additional sale fees, saving you money.
Investors most times do not even need a walkthrough. You can show them the house virtually, over a webcam, or send them photos and videos of the property in its current condition.