Selling your home when you have small kids
Written by: Amanda Simkin
Selling your house is stressful. Emotions run high, there are many sleepless nights…and I’m just talking about the adults. When there are kids involved with selling real estate, everything gets amped up even more. How do I know? Because I’m going through the process right now and it has been a roller coaster that I can’t wait to get off of.
So take some of my advice and follow these 6 tips for selling your house while raising small children:
Expect things to take longer than they actually should. What do I mean, exactly? Well, if you still need to stain the fence or hang a new light fixture, give yourself more time to do it than you would expect if you didn’t have little ones around asking if they can help paint, why you are doing the handy work, and basically holding all of your tools hostage.
Try to find a real estate agent who is a parent. Why? Because she understands the need to have advance notice for showings and that you can’t keep a house immaculate for showings when there are little ones around.
Don’t totally give up on your kids’ schedules just because you are selling your house. If someone is really interested in your home, they will come to see it at a time that works for both of you. There is no need to keep your child up an hour past bedtime in hopes of someone coming to check out your place. I mean, it’s not like the kiddos are going to sleep in the next morning to make up for it!
Explain the potential of moving to your kids as early and clearly as possible. That way, they will understand what is going on and there aren’t any surprises. Check out this great NPN post about making moving easier for kids.
Declutter not just for the sake of home selling, but also for the sake of your sanity. Is your home overrun by toys? Then rotate toys and follow these other decluttering tips. I divide my boys’ toys among five large bins. Each day, my boys play with the toys that are in one bin. If they are really excited about the contents, we play with that bin for a few days. If they get sick of the toys in the bin, we swap it out with another one. That way, it is easy to quickly clean up and contain the toys when you get a call for a showing…or for your piece of mind once you are settled in your new home, as well.
Have an escape plan. When your home is being shown, you need to get out of there. So take advantage of all of these free and fun places to play with your kids. Have family nearby? Visit them and have a great place to relax during this stressful time of transition. And if you are saving every penny for your dream home, avoid restaurants and instead pack a picnic. I mean, who doesn’t love having a campout?
Amanda Simkin, a lifelong Chicagoan, created her blog (queenofthelandoftwigsnberries.com) to share how she celebrates motherhood in Chicago. She offers “insider’s guides” for both well-known and off-the-beaten-path family-friendly gems. Her fans include Red Tricycle Chicago and Chicago Parent Magazine.