Most people have realized by now that staging their home, at least to a certain extent, is one of the ways to help them get the quicker home sale – and asking price – they are hoping for. Doing so is easy enough if the household is comprised of all adults but what are sellers supposed to do if they have young kids. How can messy, unpredictable kids and staging possibly go together? Staging a home that is occupied by children as well as adults does present extra challenges, but it is not impossible. Here are a few tips:
Pack the Toys Away – Telling your children that you need to pack all of their toys away while you are trying to sell your home yourself is unlikely to be met with a great deal of enthusiasm by the kids themselves. In fact such a declaration is only likely to end in tearful protests and sulks. The fact is though, kids tend to play with only a few of their toys, the rest kind of gather dust on the shelves.
Allow your child to pick out ten toys that they want to keep out while your are trying to sell your home and then pack the rest away. It may not be a popular move at first, but it will minimize the clutter in your home as well as actually give you a head start on the packing. If the ten toy thing really is not going to fly at least gather toys into baskets and make sure that they are all put away when playtime is over (hopefully by the kids who were playing with them.)
Keep it Tidy – No reasonable potential buyer is going to expect that room occupied by a six year old is going to look like a showroom, but basic tidiness is expected. In an ideal situation older kids could be relied on to keep their own rooms in order, in the spirit of helping out so that they can get to their exciting new home that bit quicker. The chances of that happening all the time are, as most parents know, slim, however much they nag. Basically if you can find the time every day to clear of the floor in your kids room, make the bed and ensure that the closets are tidy (buyers love to open closets) you should be in good shape.
Kids and Showings – As far as possible, kids should not be around when you are showing your for sale by owner home to potential buyers. No one is saying that they should be packed off for the duration of the time your home is on the market but if you can arrange for them to go to a neighbors or Grandpa and Grandma’s when potential buyers are due to show up your life will be a lot easier. Nothing worse than a ‘helpful’ four year old pointing out the stains on the carpet that you had been hiding with a rug until you find time to get the professional carpet cleaners in!