Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Katie O’Leary, licensed REALTOR®.
How to Sell Your House and Keep Your Sanity (with Kids)
Everyone tells you that spring is a great time to sell your house. After a long, cold winter and the rush of the holidays, you might be thinking that a new pad with more space is just what your family needs. But if you’re anything like most parents, the thought of putting your house on the market with kids is about as high on your list of great ideas as a root canal. So what’s a mom to do? Send your kids off to a month-long vacation at grandma’s? Put them up for adoption? Luckily, there are other solutions which will allow you to list your house, attract interested buyers, and get moving to YOUR dream home with your kids (and your sanity) in tow. Follow these easy tips and you’ll be stretched out in your new space in no time.
Kick the Clutter
I know, I know. Kids and clutter go together like king cake and daiquiris. Unfortunately, 30% of buyers say they are disappointed and less likely to make an offer on a cluttered home. To make your home “show-worthy,” it seems that less stuff means more money.
- Start to box up toys, clothing and appliances that you don’t regularly use. Label them and either put them in your attic or consider renting a storage unit or pod. You can think of it as getting a jump start on packing.
- Clean off the counter-tops and tables, pick up straggling toys and books from the floor and put your day-to-day stuff out of sight.
- Lessen your décor. I have pictures of my two kids all over my home. And I love them. But buyers may not be able to envision themselves in your house if all they can see is you and your family. Consider putting away personal items (wedding albums, baby books, that bowling trophy your hubby proudly displays). Keep art and décor minimal and basic.
- Keep cleaning supplies at the ready. Gather a few cleaning essentials in a basket so you can do a quick clean when a showing is scheduled.
- Consider bringing in the pros. Even if you pride yourself on keeping your home spotless, selling your house is a stressful time, and it totally warrants a splurge. Consider hiring a housekeeper to come every week to keep your house in tip-top selling shape.
Appeal to the Masses
You may see your house as the quintessential family home. But every buyer may not have kids in their present or future. Those without kiddos may have a hard time picturing themselves amongst the Barbie dolls, Legos and stuffed Peppa Pig. You want to appeal to the widest range of buyers.
- Save the artwork for your new home. Sure, your kids are little Picassos, but let’s face it, their art can look a little less than streamlined. Clean off the fridge and bulletin boards and put away those keepsakes. Consider using an app like ArtKive to keep up with your kids’ work digitally.
- Keep favorite toys in a box which can be hidden. Have your little ones choose their favorite items and put them in an easily accessible basket. When you have a showing, hide the basket in a closet. All items not in the basket should be packed up and moved out.
- Be mindful of kiddie décor. Adorable wallpaper, murals or baby pink walls are perfect for your tot, but may read as too much work to change for potential buyers. Think about repainting and neutralizing.
Make an Escape Plan
As a realtor, I tell my clients that no one will buy their home if no one sees it! The most successful sellers are those who are ready, willing and able to show their home at any time. I know this sounds like an impossible feat with kids at home, but I promise, if you make your home available to show, it will sell quicker and you’ll be done with the whole process in no time. You want to have a plan in place so you can jet out at a moment’s notice when your realtor calls you with a showing request. Think about renewing your zoo or City Park family passes so you can pass the time with fun. Pack up the kids for a trip to the indoor playground or take them to their favorite frozen yogurt place. Let your friends, family and neighbors know you are selling in case you need to drop by unexpectedly. And most of all, TALK TO YOUR KREWE. If your kids are old enough to “get” the moving process, they may find it annoying; or they may be sad about the changes to come. Talk up the move, let them help with packing or planning their new room décor. Reward them when they keep their rooms neat and “show-worthy.” Include them in the process so they’ll be prepared.
Selling a home is tough. Selling one when you have kids can be crazy! But if you follow these simple tips, you’ll be enjoying time in your dream home before you know it! I should know, I’m not only a realtor, I’m a mom of two toddlers and I’m in the process of selling my own home! Don’t worry moms, we can do this!
Would you like to learn more about Katie O’Leary and the services she offers? Check out her website or give her a call at (504) 362-1823.
Katie O’Leary is a full-time licensed REALTOR® at Latter & Blum in New Orleans. She is also a wife and mother to two active little girls (four year old Avery and three year old Madeline). She and her husband Patrick met at Loyola Law School in New Orleans, and Katie’s background as a corporate attorney is an asset when it comes to the detailed contract drafting and negotiation required for successful real estate transactions. However, her goal is to make buying and selling a home as stress-free and easy as possible, and maybe even fun! Katie prides herself on excellent customer service and communication skills, and she loves the relationships she forms with her clients. She has been honored as a Latter & Blum “Million in a Month” salesperson and enjoys the challenge of building her real estate business. She grew up on the West Bank, lives in Lakeview, and loves New Orleans. She graduated from Mount Carmel Academy and Mississippi State University before graduating from Loyola Law. In her spare time, she enjoys running, volunteering at her girls’ school, and she teaches jazz, tap and contemporary dance to children at two local dance studios. She is active in the St. Dominic Mothers Club, Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and she is a proud member of the Mystic Krewe of Nyx. On the weekends, you can find her out showing houses, cheering on the Saints and LSU, or enjoying barbecues with friends and family. Katie would love to help you with your real estate needs.