Buying a house can tug at your heart. You look, you look, you look some more – you find one you love, and then it’s a gamble. You make an offer and hold your breath. Will it be accepted? Will someone else offer more? A handful of different circumstances could come into play. It is exhausting, emotional, and time consuming. Then, when it’s meant to be, you are the owner of a new home…and it’s time to sell yours.
I had no idea what to expect when we sold our home, and I highly underestimated everything that is involved in the process. If you’re considering putting your house on the market, hopefully these bits of advice can help you understand everything that is involved in selling your house with kids.
Deciding whether to hire a professional, or sell your home on your own is a huge decision. It doesn’t matter how many connections you have or how many people you know. The question you need to ask yourself is do you want to be the liaison for selling your home? From the outside looking in, it may seem like a simple task, but there is so much involved in selling a house. In our case with two kids, a dog and full-time jobs, we decided to hire a real-estate agent and not attempt to be a one-man band. We didn’t have time to take pictures, make brochures, publicly advertise, field and follow up with interested buyers, show and re-show the house. It was enough work for us to be in charge of our family shuffle each showing and keeping the house “show ready”. Our way isn’t right for everyone, and some of you will list your house for-sale-by-owner and be total rock stars. There are pros and cons to each strategy, finding the one that works best for your family is key.
When listing our house I was a bit clueless as to what to expect. The first step is to de-clutter, and make your current space as simple as possible. You might need to store pieces of excess furniture or distracting clutter to present your space at it’s highest potential. If you’ve decided to hire a real-estate agent, typically they have great pieces of advice and can make suggestions that will help your house show well. This is actually a great kick start to start packing. We packed away about fifty percent of our children’s toys and just kept out the toys that they were currently showing the most interest in. Apart from de-cluttering, cleaning and getting to the list of house T0-Dos you keep putting on the back burner will keep you busy.
Accommodation is Key
Now, it’s time to channel your most flexible self. You will have showings in the morning and evening – and be prepared! They will also call you right when you’ve laid your child down for a nap or just as you’ve placed dinner on the table. Some showings will give a few days notice, but others will give you 20 minutes notice before they want to arrive. It’s a circus! Rounding up two kids and a dog on a whim was not easy. Not to mention, you want to have your home looking it’s best every time you let someone walk through. The key here is to be accommodating. You aren’t going to sell your home unless you are showing it.
Find a Home Base
During this process you will be spending quite a bit of time away from home. Keep a running list of places you can go with your kids during different hours of the day so that you don’t feel like you are constantly just driving around in your car with your little ones in the back. Research local story times and park hours. Have a bag of books, activities and snacks ready in your car to help entertain your kids while you are gone.
Selling a home isn’t the easiest task, but hopefully the tips above will help reduce the stress and streamline the process. Happy selling!