Five Steps to Preparing Your Home for Sale as a Family
Preparing your home for a sale can be as exhausting as it is exciting. There is much to do, and adding kids to the mix can create more than a few extra challenges. Thankfully, there are ways you can be prepared, even for last-minute viewings.
When a potential buyer considers your home, it's the exterior that they experience first. Often, how your property looks from the outside will determine their initial interest in the home as a whole. That means you have to extensively invest in your house’s outward appearance, also known as “curb appeal.” You will need to make repairs to get the house itself in good shape, and then turn your attention to the garden. Do what you can to make the space look nice without adding too much to your workload and budget. For example, try creating a path with large stepping stones, adding fresh mulch or decorative pebbles instead of grass, and use plants that are local to the area. Lastly, ensure you put plants in the right spots so they will flourish, such as low-light vegetation in shady areas, to keep your garden looking brilliant.
Children may have a hard time understanding why some of their toys must go into storage and why their home suddenly looks unrecognizable. That’s what it’s important to take time to explain why everyone needs to declutter and patiently listen to their concerns. They will need reassurance that this situation is temporary, but explain the benefits of a tidy home. Once they’re on board, make specific zones for toys together, as the more you include them, the easier the transition may be. To help them stay organized, install a second rod in their closet to also create additional storage. Consider the needs of each child as some respond better to rewards while others require structure and habit to work best.
Keep Things Clean
The house must stay spotless at all times, as you can never predict when a potential buyer will pop in for a look. That doesn't mean you should spend every minute scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees. Instead of doing it all alone, assign tasks for everyone to do each day. Then, spend time working together to tackle the whole house to the tune of fun music. If you have a last-minute viewer, you will need to make priorities. While you don't have to change the sheets, do make the bed and ensure the kitchen and bathrooms are spotless. Likewise, keep walkways clear, and clean off surfaces so that they aren't cluttered.
As you want the outside of your property to look immaculate, so too should the inside. That includes taking the time to stage rooms and keep them looking just so. Decluttering is your first step, but there is much more to do. You want the home to feel inviting, so bring in as much light as possible by opening curtains or blinds before a showing. Of course, the living area is the most important part of your home to invest time in. As a final touch, add a bowl of flowers or fruit to the tables or pull furniture away from walls to make things larger than they might be.
When there is a last-minute showing, chaos can reign, but you could ease the pressure by having a plan in place. Clean the most important sections, like the kitchen and bathrooms, and hit the windows with Windex to make them shine. Have the kids pick up their rooms, and go through the house to check for off-putting smells. Those can be countered by putting baking soda in trash cans and the kitchen disposal, and covering lingering odors with something potent but pleasant, like coffee grounds. If you and the family know what to do, and who has to do it, prepping for a drop-in viewer will be much easier.
With the right preparation, you and your family can ready your home for anything. Whether it's decluttering or cleaning for a sudden viewing, working together gets things done faster. This may be a stressful time, but it can bring a family closer.
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