Jennifer Lee Mazeika

GRI, ABR

“Home is where your story begins, I’ll help you get there.”

Selling Your Home If You Have Kids

(or What do I do with all the kid clutter before my agent arrives to show our house)

Even though that heading really says what this article is all about. I thought it was a little too long. But here is a short list of things to help you cope with showing your house:

Declutter Before You Sell
After we went through our stuff, we wound up donating multiple bags to Goodwill and threw away a lot of junk. ‘If you haven’t used it in a year, you most likely won’t use it.”  We also could have had a yard sale but I have to admit that with two kids, a full time job and just running our household, I didn’t have the time. Decluttering the house made the cleaning up process before a showing so much easier because there was a lot less stuff in our house.

Use Your Car for Storage
We bought three large laundry baskets and kept them in the back of our car during each showing. We typically received 3-5 hours notice before a showing which gave us plenty of time to cleanup. I would bring in the three baskets and load them up with all of the toys, clothes on the floor and things I didn’t have time to put away. It’s a quick way to get stuff off your floors and countertops.

Make a ‘Get Ready for Showing’ List
 I wrote a list of things to do before each showing. This kept me on track and helped me remember everything I needed to do to get the house “ready.”  Your list should be specific to your house. The list made the getting ready so much less stressful.

This is an example of my list:
1. Remove toys (kids and pets)
2. Wipe down countertops and appliances; put away all dishes, clear countertops
3. Close all toilets, clean sinks and mirrors
4. Make beds – add decorative pillows
5. Remove diaper bin, cat litter box and kitchen garbage
6. Open blinds, shades and curtains
7. Turn on lights
8. Turn up heat or ac (depending on weather)
9. Sweep front porch
10. If you have time or help, vacuum all carpeted areas

Consider a Storage Unit
I personally think houses with less clutter look bigger and are more appealing to home buyers. Less stuff equals more room. We cleaned out some of our kitchen cabinets and our closets. You don’t want a closet overflowing with stuff.

I hope this helps. I know it will make my job as a realtor a lot easier.