How to Sell a House — Messy Kids and All

As your family grows, your starter home is starting to feel awfully full. But there’s one big obstacle standing in the way of you and an upsized home: selling your house. From the crayon you gave up on scrubbing off the walls to the tornado of toys that is your kids’ playroom, there’s a lot to contend with if you’re going to get your house in show-ready condition and keep it there.

You could stay put, but why live in a cramped house if you don’t have to? Instead of avoiding a move, find your dream home and then tackle your upsize head-on with these time-saving tips.

Decide if You’ll Move Out

Moving out makes selling a house much easier, especially for parents. When you relocate while your home is on the market, you eliminate the need for constant cleaning and scrambling to leave before every showing. Before moving out, consider the average days on the market in your area. While renting an apartment or Airbnb is affordable in competitive markets, it could be costly if your home takes a long time to sell.

Sellers who move out should avoid leaving the home vacant. Instead, leave just enough furnishings for staging. Home staging improves listing photos and helps buyers imagine themselves in a home they’re thinking about purchasing.

Start Packing Now

Staging is an even bigger concern for families who don’t vacate. Clutter can kill a home sale, so it’s critical that parents have a plan for eliminating clutter while keeping their house livable. For most families, this means putting most belongings in storage and keeping only the bare necessities. Thankfully, buyers are forgiving when it comes to non-master bedrooms, so there’s no need to leave play areas barren. Instead, downsize toy collections and look for easy yet stylish storage solutions like wicker baskets.

Get Your Home in Tip-Top Shape

With clutter out of the way, you can finally see your home clearly, including all of its flaws. From the little repairs you’ve put off to the dust bunnies in the corner, it all needs to go before your home hits the market. Minor fixes like patching drywall, painting, and fixing loose knobs and cupboards are simple enough to DIY, but hire contractors for anything involving plumbing or electrical wiring. While they get your home in good repair, work your way through a deep-cleaning checklist that will make your home gleam.

Keep Up with Daily Cleaning

Right now, your home looks the best it has in years. But as a parent you know it won’t last for long. You need a plan for keeping your home clean day-in and day-out while your home is on the market. Some parents take the DIY approach, diligently following cleaning schedules to stay on top of dishes, laundry, and other hallmarks of a lived-in home, but don’t rule out hiring a housekeeping service. Letting someone else handle the house can be a huge relief when you have so many things on your plate.

Housekeeping and maid services, for example, can help with tasks such as running errands and meal prep in addition to general upkeep. These services ultimately allow parents to focus on work, parenting, and life instead of constantly tending the house.

Make Showings Fun for the Whole Family

Ask any parent who has bought and sold a home, and they’ll tell you that getting kids out of the house for showings is easily one of the most stressful aspects. Make these disruptions easier on the kids (and you!) by creating a reason to look forward to showings. Find fun places to go as a family and keep a bag in your trunk full of kid-friendly activities, snacks, and other supplies. By creating a positive association, you can eliminate the fight to get out of the house.

Moving may feel like an insurmountable feat right now. But before long, this will be just a blip in your family’s history. Instead of letting the idea of selling a house with kids overwhelm you, take charge of your move. With creative solutions (and maybe a little outside help!), you can tackle your move like a pro and settle into your new, right-sized home.

 Whether you’re looking for homes for sale in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Orange, Locust Grove, Culpeper, Northern Virginia or even Maryland or DC, we are your Real Estate team committed to finding the perfect home for you! Thinking of selling? In any market condition, “what is my home worth?” is the #1 question asked by homeowners. If you wish to sell your home, it needs to be sold for top dollar, and in a timely manner. Pricing your home accurately, one of our area expert advisors will partner with you to make the selling process so much easier. Get started today by calling us at (540) 388-2541 or contact Pat Licata.

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