Being a real estate agent is a dream come true, everything from writing listing contracts, buyer contracts, showing homes, and writing a blog is beyond anything comprehensible. As much as real estate is awesome there is a life beyond work. That would include, kids, dogs, and a husband who works hard to support his family.
Today I invited a house guest to come visit tomorrow, thinking how exciting and awesome that would be. We are planning on going out to lunch, chit chat, and even work on some real estate contracts. My excitement turned into complete chaos and stress upon returning home. Forgetting that there was a house to clean, laundry to put away, and dishes to clean from lunch (after lunch we had been running errands). Along with getting dinner ready and making sure the kids get ready for bed, walk the dogs, and the usual evening chores. This week has been so incredibly busy that it has been hard keeping up with the chores. Especially since the kids are just getting over colds and bronchitis. Doctor appointments have filled our days the past few weeks. Considering the craziness that goes on at the house between Cheer practices, church activities, training, working out, etc. I stopped to think about how do parents with kids even small children deal with selling a house?
Selling a house can be stressful, but as realtors we try to take as much of that stress off of you as possible. By walking you through the process and explaining the best ways to sell your house. But imagine that with little precious children in the house (the ones who might be so good at dragging out all their toys and not so good at putting them back) and getting a call that someone wants to view your home in 5 minutes. As a realtor there has been one rule that is extremely important to my sellers as their interests are my utmost priority, always request a 24 hour appointment. For my own buyers I always contact the seller agents a few days out as a courtesy to let the sellers know that we would like to view their home. I just couldn’t imagine someone wanting to see my house and we are in the middle of dinner and have to leave quickly. Leaving quickly with little kids just seems contradictory to me. I can never get out of the house quickly, thus when I have to be somewhere with kids in tow I leave about 45 minutes to an hour earlier. It has worked for the most part and a lot of times we even have time to stop for breakfast! Win-win right there! But sometimes buyers are on a tight schedule and need to see something ASAP, here are some tips:
- When you list your home be sure to tell your kids so they are aware that they need to keep their rooms nice and tidy at all times. My daughter has the task of making her bed every morning, cleaning up after her school work, and cleaning her room. Work this into your daily routine and it will make life so much easier.
- Have a plan to make sure toys are picked up and laundry is either nice and neat in laundry baskets in the laundry room or put away.
- Don’t leave out dirty dishes, this one is so hard to do especially when you are a Work-at-Home mom or a working mom and are constantly chasing after a two year old. At least put them in the dishwasher or hand wash and hand dry them then put them away.
- Always keep a list of places to go during a showing. Some ideas are ice cream parlors, bowling alleys, coffee shops, mini golfing, playgrounds, parks, shopping centers, malls, stores-oh how I could spend hours in JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby! If your family lives close by pay them a visit or make a playdate with some friends. If it isn’t too late visit a library to work on homework or read some books. A common occurrence is dining out as it’s a nice way to unwind but also be away from the house for a few hours. A lot of times the buyer’s agent will give us a window of when they will be there so it’s best to leave a little before and come back after just in case they are running late.
- Keep the outings as a fun and enjoyable experience. Making selling your house a positive experience for your children is crucial as you prepare to move.
- If you have too much stuff (aka way too many toys like we do), box them up and put them in a designated area in the garage or even better is to put them in a storage unit. Not all of their toys but a good chunk of them.
- If possible to change your daughter’s hot pink room into a more neutral color that would help people see the potential of the home instead of a bright pink room that they would have to paint over because they have all boys.
- Have a playroom? A great way to stage your home if you have a playroom is to turn it into a home office or another bedroom. That way when potential buyers come in they don’t see a playroom but a room that has endless possibilities. It says on the MLS xxx bedrooms so the buyers would like to see the rooms utilized as such. In most houses I have seen all the bedrooms are either offices or are used as actual bedrooms during showings.
- Pets…if you have pets the best way is to either put them in a crate or take them out with you. Go to the fun pet stores and walk around or if you have a dog friendly downtown area take them there! It will be such an adventure for your pup!
- For more tips contact Amy Reed, I have a lot of experience with selling with kids and pets! I also have kids and dogs of my own so I can easily relate with your situation.
As you can see if you break apart each situation it isn’t that stressful selling your home filled with kids and pets. That’s what we (as real estate agents) are for, to help you with staging, contracts, all the fun legal dealings, and to guide you every step of the way. So don’t stress out if you are thinking about selling your home, message us today!