The realization that you need to stage your home can be a tough one for parents. It is a challenge keeping a house pristine and clutter-free for a few hours, let alone several weeks. However, staging a house with kids does not have to be a logistical nightmare. All it takes is some patience and organization.
Hire A Pro
This is not in everyone’s budget, but if you are willing to spend the money and you really do not have any idea where to start with staging, you can hire a professional. This does not come cheap – the national average cost is $959 – but it does remove a lot of the pressure and guarantees that your home is picture-perfect for buyers.
You are going to have to clear out a lot of clutter to stage your home, but do not be tempted to just pack it all up without going through it. This is an opportunity for you to declutter and simplify your life, so embrace this part of the staging process.
Adults may be more onboard with the idea of “purging” stuff than kids, so you might need a strategy to get them to embrace toy minimalism. Zen Habits has a great list of tips for doing this.
Compromise With Your Children
Moving can be hard for kids, so it is important for parents to learn to compromise. Is your child upset that you want to repaint their bedroom walls a neutral white? Agree to let them choose whatever color they want in the next room. You may also want to take some steps to make the move easier on them, like making a memory scrapbook of the house or visiting their favorite neighborhood spots.
Take The Kids Out
An easy way to minimize the amount of mess the children make is to keep them outside of the house. Organize fun family activities on weekends, or if it is summer, just encourage them to play in the yard. Your family outings do not have to be expensive or exhausting. There are plenty of fun and free activities that can keep the kids out of the house, such as going to a library or finding a new playpark.
Give Out Chores
Include your kids in the maintenance process. Keeping the house clean during the weeks when it is being viewed is going to be a big undertaking, and it should not be up to you alone. Create a chore chart and assign responsibilities to each child, even if it is just keeping their room tidy. If you are not sure about what jobs you can give them, this age-appropriate chore chart by Molly Maid can help.
Become A Stain Expert
Kids make messes. As a parent, you have probably come to accept this. However, buyers may not feel the same way, and you need to be able to tackle that grape juice stain on the carpet or the crayon marks on the sofa. Learn to get rid of any stain, from baby food to permanent marker, using a small selection of basic household cleaners.
Master The Art Of The Quick Clean
Last-minute viewings do happen, so have a strategy in place for getting the house ready in a moment’s notice. Your last-minute cleaning list should include picking up everything off the floor, sweeping and vacuuming highly visible areas, making the bed, wiping down the kitchen, and taking out the trash.
Don’t Forget Curb Appeal
Don’t underestimate the value of a nice-looking front yard. Good landscaping can add anywhere between 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent to your sale price, so it literally pays not to neglect it. Parents can start by clearing the front yard of any children’s toys, old bikes, and other outdoor clutter. Then, rope in your kids for a gardening session, planting a couple of flower beds for a touch of color.
Remember that the more you commit to home staging, the more likely you are to sell your home quickly. It is a bit of effort, but ultimately you are better off working to keep a staged home for a few weeks than to keep waiting for a buyer for several months. Besides, there are worse things than living in a clean and clutter-free home.