Even the Busiest Parents Can Be Ready for an Open House By Kristin Louis
It may seem like an impossibility, but no matter how chaotic life is, you can be ready for a home showing at the drop of a hat. Being a parent adds many unique challenges, but you can use this to your advantage. With these tips, you can be on your way to a successful sale.
Get the Kids on Your Team
Unfortunately, moving can be difficult for children. So, break the news early to let them process the idea of house showings, and allow them emotional reactions to things that are largely out of their control. With that in mind, involve them where you can so they feel they have some control over the situation. Let them choose the color of their new room, and be willing to make compromises, such as getting them a pet for their new home.
When your family works as a team, you can accomplish more, so it’s important to let children decide what they want to keep and give up. Have them go through their clothes and toys and choose what they can’t part with, what can be stored, and what might be donated. Once the kids’ rooms are done, schedule out the rest of the home. You don’t need to be ruthless, but it’s best to get rid of unused belongings, even those that are pretty or expensive. Put things in storage to be sold later or donated to charity. It’s vital to have a home that looks open and uncluttered when trying to sell a property. If storage looks tight, it will make buyers think twice.
Organize Each Room
Once you have decluttered, you need to keep your home well-presented by organizing it. This may mean you have to add storage solutions to clutter-prone areas in your house, such as the entryway or living room. As a start, use trays to keep small things from getting lost while adding a touch of style to rooms. You can even get crafty by putting a baking tray beneath the sofa to hide stuff discreetly. Likewise, if your bedrooms are a little cramped, add a shelf high up for extra storage. In fact, go a step further by attaching a clothing rack to the bottom to keep other garments organized, displayed and wrinkle-free. Remember, you want a neutral home, so use storage, if possible, for personal items, such as drawings or family photos.
Keeping it Clean
It should go without saying, but maintaining a clean home is critical to a sale. The last thing buyers want to see is piles of dirty laundry, dishes in the sink or unmade beds. While it might be easier to tackle the organization and decluttering aspect on the weekends, keeping your home clean during the week is challenging. This is when the time is ripe to hire a housekeeper. Someone who can fold the laundry and put it away, clean up the kitchen, make the beds and sweep the front walk. Costs for this can vary, but consider this an investment in guaranteeing your home sells.
Good Staging Techniques
If you want your home to sell quickly, it’s wise to invest in staging. Decluttering and organizing are the first steps, but you need to find a balance so your house does not come off as anemic. However, that doesn’t mean leaving plates in the sink, but consider having your dining room table set with your best dishware during viewings. Emphasize neutrality, both with hues and gender, which may mean getting rid of certain decor. If you want to brighten rooms, open curtains and blinds, and add a pop of color with accent pieces.
Handle Last-Minute Viewings
When you are selling, you may find last-minute viewings to be unavoidable. That means knowing what’s necessary to perform a quick power clean to keep the house in good condition and ensure a strong impression. Put anything lying around away, open up curtains for maximum natural light, and check for any noticeable smells. Find the source of these odors, and deal with them naturally. Most can be handled by a mix of baking soda and vinegar, which is better than trying to mask the scent with another.
It takes a lot of work to prepare a home for sale, but with the right help, it can be a smooth process. Try to involve your kids to get them excited about the move. By being proactive, you can get your property on and off the market quickly.
About the Author
Kris Louis is mom to two rambunctious boys. Her oldest is 10 and her youngest is 7. A former advertising copywriter, she recently created parentingwithkris.com, where she puts her skills to work writing about the trials and tribulations of parenting. Kris, her husband, and two boys live in Durham, NC.