Staging is one of the key things you can do to make your home appeal to potential buyers. But what if you have kids? While no one expects a house occupied by children to be perfect, there still are several steps you can take to keep your space clean, inviting and depersonalized.
After all, a place that seems dirty implies that it’s not well-maintained. Here are three expert tips on how to make your property seller-ready when you have kids.
1. Strike a balance
Just like any other room in the house, the kids’ rooms should be tidy and clean. This doesn’t mean you have to do away with playtime while your home is on the market, but you should decide what really needs to stay.
A good rule of thumb: Determine what is absolutely essential for a normal day for the children, and then store any large items (like old monogrammed baby furniture, abstract clay art projects made by your children, and larger items such as playsets and dollhouses).
It’s also important to rid your home of any small stuff (like half-used crayons) that has been accumulating for years by investing in a collection of stylish containers, baskets or tins that will make your space look like it was organized by a professional. If your kids are old enough to help, encourage them to keep their space clean and organized.
Prospective buyers like to get a glimpse of what it would be like to live in your residence, and one of the best ways to accomplish this is by making it look like a place that could comfortably belong to anyone, even a buyer without children.
2. Prevent messes before they occur
Now it’s time to start thinking about all of the little messes that could happen with kids—and how to prevent them when prospective buyers are set to visit. Pack up any tempting supplies, such as paint, markers, crayons, and glitter, and also watch what you cook on days you will be showing the house.
A tip: Keep any sticky, high-spatter foods off the menu for those days, and plan to have the kids out of the house at least 30 minutes before your open house, giving you some time to clean up if necessary.
3. Do a final sweep
The toys are organized, messes are cleaned up and the kids are waiting outside, so it looks like you’re ready to go, right? Not just yet. Despite all of your hard work, there still are a few final places you’ll want to check before leaving the house and opening it up to prospective buyers. The final checklist should include cleaning sticky handles that people may open, like closet doors, appliances, doorknobs, mirrors and glass.