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  • Writer's pictureHeather Yeoman

5 Tips When Selling a Home When You Have Kids

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

Stressed about moving with kids?

Moving is never easy. We have all invested so much in our homes and it can cause some real emotional stress when it comes to preparing it for the market…especially with kids! Where do we start? How are we going to get through this without going crazy?

We are all busy with work, our kids, and our commitments, and we are already so overwhelmed that we don’t know how all of this is going to play out. How do we get the family involved so it makes it easier or even helps just make some sense out of it?

Here are a few steps to follow to reduce the madness and keep you from second-guessing everything.

1) Prepare and De-clutter. Take some time to go over things in your mind. Plan. When do you want your house to go on the market? Give yourself the necessary time to get your house prepared. If you’re aiming for spring, the beginning of March would be a great time to start. It will give you a few weeks rather than a few days. Look at your schedule and block off time to go room by room to organize and de-clutter.

Start by clearing off the tops of dressers, nightstands, and counters and remove photos and personal use items. Throw out mismatched items, pieces of clothing, socks…

Buy some fun baskets with lids, containers, or boxes, and put away the toys and clothes that are the least used. If your kids are old enough, have them help choose which toys and clothes they use the least and then let them fill the boxes or donate. Getting them involved and giving them the chance to feel included will help them feel excited about moving.

Marking the boxes in a special way helped when we were moving with our three kids. They each got to choose their own markers (could be crayons if your kids are younger) and stickers to identify their special boxes. Store the boxes in the garage or closets.

Where to find boxes:

2) Prepare for showings. Set a schedule with your realtor for showings. If the week is too busy and you need to get the kids to bed and don’t want to be disrupted, make sure your realtor knows that. Decide on a specific day and time for showings. It could afternoons on Sundays. Knowing this, have your kids help turn on all the lights and open the blinds when it is showing time. Homes show much better when rooms are bright.

Get a showing bag ready. Put together a bag with treats, toys, books, and blankets. Something fun and unique, things that they only get when there are showings, so they get excited about it. Make sure to include something for yourself as well! Have the bag ready to go in case your run out of time getting the house ready. If you store the bag in the closet at the front door, garage, or car, you can easily grab it on your way out of the house.

3) Make a daily clean-up and checklist for your kids. This will help set the expectations from the beginning and things won’t pile up at the last minute. Remind them to put away their dishes in the dishwasher, make their beds, and clean off the bathroom counter. Hiding a small container under the sink in a cupboard where they can put things away quickly will help plus having those cleaning wipes handy is always a good idea. My kids were guilty of throwing their towels on the ground instead of hanging them up on their hooks and always leaving the toilet seat open (better to close those seats!)

4) Set up an activity schedule for when there are showings. Where will you go when you leave the house? Ask the kids to suggest a few places and make a list beforehand so you know where you are going. The less planning you must do in the car, the easier it will be on the whole family. We spent the afternoon at the apple orchard picking apples and exploring.

Some simple ideas:

Go see a movie, go on a hike to Mount Royal, explore the Biodome, head to the Montreal Science Centre, visit the Ecomuseum, or spend the afternoon at the Musée des Beaux-Arts.

5) Have a checklist. Write down what is important to do or check right before your realtor shows up. I would get my kids all set in the car and then go back into the house to do one more sweep. Having the house to myself, allowed me to concentrate and not panic two seconds after we left the driveway thinking that we forgot to do something.

And remember, the people coming to visit your home mostly have kids too. It doesn't have to be perfect!

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