As much as we love our kids, there’s no denying that they can make some things more complicated. Case in point, putting a home on the market. Careful staging efforts can go down the drain if your little ones are less-than-tidy—and when family life gets hectic, it’s easy to miss out on opportunities to show your home.

The good news? You can successfully prep your property and get through the showing process—and your youngest family members can help!

If you have kids, here are five tips to make selling your home easier…

1) Donate gently-used toys

Decluttering can help you create a cleaner (and less-crowded) living space, setting the scene for a beautiful staging job. Unfortunately, toys are often a sticking point. Kids tend to get very attached to them, so paring down these playtime items can be tricky. Luckily, it can also lead to a teachable moment.

Ask your little ones to put together a box of toys to donate to charity. Explain exactly where their gently-used lego, train sets, or stuffed animals will be going, and encourage them to include some of their favourites. Taking this step will allow you to both cut down on clutter and teach your children the value of giving.

2) Make an agreement with your kids

Once the bedrooms have been decluttered and cleaned, make sure they stay that way. While most (dare we say all) kids have a messy streak, there are ways of getting them to maintain their space while your home is on the market. Our top suggestion is drawing up an agreement and having them sign it.

The document you create should lay out the responsibilities you’d like your children to uphold while your home is for sale—and how you’ll reward them if they do. From putting toys in their place to folding clothing, be specific about what you expect. Be sure to choose a prize that they’ll actually want to work towards. A trip to a nearby family destination, like Canada’s Wonderland is a great option!

3) Have the talk

Kids don’t always handle it well when they’re uprooted. If you suspect your children will be upset about the upcoming move, it may be tempting to put off having “the talk.” Don’t. The earlier you can have an open and honest conversation about future changes, the more time they’ll have to get used to them.

When you sit your youngsters down, it may be helpful to highlight some of the positive aspects of their new home. Will the house have a bigger backyard or a pool? These benefits may make kids a little more receptive to change—just don’t expect them to accept the news overnight.

4) Be ready to go

If you decide to continue living in your home while it’s being shown, be prepared to leave in a hurry. Buyers will often have schedules that are every bit as hectic as yours, and accommodating them with last-minute showings can lead to more offers—and (quite possibly) more money in your pocket.

Of course, getting out at a moment’s notice is easier said than done when you have kids. But there are a few steps you can take to make it easier. Start by creating a quick exit plan. Where will you go if a showing pops up, and how will you get there? It’s a good idea to pack a bag containing the little things your family might need, from snacks to diapers.

5) Consider renting an Airbnb

Many people find that keeping a house show-ready while dealing with the stressors of family life is a lot to handle. If this sounds like you, consider renting a hotel room or Airbnb during the period when your house is being shown. Establishing a home-away-from-home will keep your property pristine for buyers, reduce the stress of hasty departures, and even provide a mini family vacation!

There’s no doubt that selling a house when you have kids can be complicated. The good news is, by taking a few steps to prepare—and turning the move into a learning experience—you can ensure that the process is simpler for everyone.

Ready to put your home on the market—with or without kids? Reach out today to learn how we can help you with home preparations and the selling process!

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