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Getting your home sale-ready can involve everything from re-decorating to installing new kitchens or bathrooms or even bigger builds like extensions and conversions.
Sounds stressful, and that’s before you put small children into the mix.
Younger kids, especially, are notorious for creating mess and chaos — not great if there’s painting to be done or prospective buyers coming around all the time.
But, if you’re under time pressures to sell your home quickly, you need an action plan to help you keep the kids happy as you get your property market ready.
Here are a few effective strategies to avoid toddler meltdowns while also making your home as attractive as possible to potential buyers.
Do not ignore them
First of all, explain what’s happening, even kids as young as two years old will get a general idea. Involve them in the process— small children love having a job to do. For instance, give them a box and ask them to collect all the stray Duplo blocks from the floor or fluffy toys. Make it fun or a competition with little prizes.
Chuck the clutter
Children are like clutter-making machines. But, if you don’t have much time, a severe decluttering will go a long way in making your home look more presentable and buyable. But, don’t start throwing away all the kid’stoys. And not in front of them — unless you want them in insoluble floods of tears for the rest of the day.
Instead, try to involve them by asking them what they want to pack away, put in their moving-day bag or leave out. For younger kids, make it into a game—who can put the most toys away.
If you have children, pay someone to come in a give your home a deep clean. Much easier and far less stressful. Take the afternoon off and take the kids for ice-cream or to the park.
Keep your house clean
Now, this an entirely different ball game. Kids make a mess, in seconds. Dirty footprints, pen marks, orange juice spills. Maintaining a clean and spotless home during viewing means you have to be on top of it—all the time. Here are few ideas to help you:
• Place cleaning products in key areas so you can quickly clean up
• Choose a single room or assign a space that is only for playing and eating.
• Always carry around wet wipes and a plastic bag for rubbish.
• Check hotspot areas in the morning and evening
Limit the kid vibes
Let’s face it, even for seasoned parents—kid’s toys can be an eyesore. After all, prospective buyers want to imagine living in your home. You need to make it looks as neutral as possible. So, take down the ‘paw patrol’ or ‘in the night garden posters’ and paint over bright pink walls.
Of course, the kids still need to have some toys out to play with during this time. Allocate an accessible space or box that will fit all the favourites in and keep it neatly out of the way. And, the toys might come in useful. For instance, if you have potential buyers visit with their small kids, they’ll be something for them to play with, while the parents focus on looking around.
Manage showing times
Like most families, your diary is probably a bit crazy—work, nursery drop-offs, and pick-ups, baby groups, toddler groups, school runs and more. Try to arrange viewings around your kid’s schedule.
Here are some ideas:
• Set aside time slots during the week that you are out as a family—park, activity groups, early evening dinner out. Then ask the agent to book viewings at this time.
• Ask friends or family to look after the kids for weekend viewings
Be there for them
Any change is hard, particularly for kids. Let’s face it, having strange people visiting your house and looking around can be unsettling. So, try to stick the same routine. And, take time to explain what’s happening and reassure them that’s it’s okay.
Take time out
Don’t forget about you. Make time to have me-time. Go out for a walk or meet a friend for a coffee and re-charged.
Trying to sell your house fast with kids might seems like an impossible challenge. But with a little planning, you’ll get through it.