House Rules for Selling a Home When You Have Kids

Can the kid clutter when you sell!

By Kris Louis – guest author

Selling your home can feel like a full-time job, even when you have a REALTOR®. Making sure everything stays clean is your top priority, and you’ll find that the process takes a lot of work. However, there are ways to streamline your cleaning routine when you have kids. Here are a few things you might change around the house to make it easier.

 

Rule #1: No toys in the living room.

A tidy home is important when selling

Depending on your children’s ages, you probably already know that their toys have an uncanny ability to find their way throughout the house. They won’t like it, but make sure that everyone understands that toys and other personal belongings are not welcome in the living room, kitchen, or other main living areas. Instead, designate a spare room for playtime or, better yet, restrict toys to their own bedroom. If you don’t already have one, invest in a toy organizer (you can find these for around $50 or so on sites such as Amazon), preferably one with open bins to make it easy for the kids to clean up after themselves.

Rule #2: It’s okay to splurge on a housekeeper.

Den Garden estimates that it can take four hours or more to thoroughly deep clean your home. But between kids, work, and your other obligations, it can be challenging to maintain your efforts after all that elbow grease. Talk about defeating! When your property is listed for sale, you need to keep it spotless, and now more than ever is the time to invest in a housekeeper. The right person can make sure your home is always sparkling by tending to regular cleaning and tidying, minding the laundry and yard, and even helping with food prep. Consider it an investment in your time, sanity, and most importantly, your ability to get top-dollar for your home.

Rule #3: Clutter has to go.

If you cannot afford to bring in a regular housekeeper, clearing the clutter out of your home is the best way to streamline your cleaning process. Even if you can swing the expense, you are doing your home a disservice by having it overfilled. Not only does clutter serve as a distraction to buyers, but it also makes conditions favorable for pests, according to Plunkett’s Pest Control, an Ohio-based exterminating company founded in 1915. Buyers will absolutely look for signs of pest infestation so the more you can do now to eliminate the potential for unwelcome guests, the better. To clear the clutter, start by removing all but the essential pieces in each room. You do not need excess furniture, art, or a ton of accessories. Your goal is for buyers to envision the home as theirs, and your personal effects will only get in the way.

Rule #4: Everybody helps out.

Women spend a disproportionate time cleaning compared to their husbands or male partners and are less likely to participate in recreational activities. This means the mom of the family is doing most of the work, even if she holds a full-time job. While this arrangement may be fine most of the time, extra hands will make the work go faster, which is important when you are in a hurry to sell and must prepare for a last-minute showing. Make sure each member of your family has a job to do every day. This could be something as simple as taking out the trash, sweeping the walkway, or putting up the laundry. Every little bit helps, and as an added benefit, learning to clean up after yourself is a life skill that all children need.

There’s nothing wrong with having a slightly disorganized home — unless that home has a “For Sale” sign in the front yard. The state of your property is almost as important as your location and asking price. Keep it clean, clutter-free, and ready for showings at a moments notice, and you may find that you are in your next home sooner rather than later.

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