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10 tips for selling a home — with kids living in it

Parents: don't stress, just follow these helpful hints
  • You will probably survive this experience.
  • Children are a big help. Just ask them.
  • There's no time like the present for selling your house. 

Selling a home is a tough business, in that, there are a lot of balls in the air at once between the open houses, last-minute showings and keeping your home in staged-perfect condition at all times.

Add a kid (or two or three — or more) to the mix, and you have some stressed out parents who happen to be making the major financial decision of selling their home. For those reasons, I’ve come up with this list of 10 tips for selling your home with kids.

Here are the first three ideas for selling your house with children living home.

1. Put your children up for adoption

Be sure your spouse is on board. This tends to be a rather long-term solution.

2. Send them to us

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My wife and I have a houseful most days. A few more can’t hurt. (Your kids have to like rambunctious rescue dogs who invade personal space to apply.)

3. Get them full-time jobs

Please check state laws regarding child labor.

Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock.com

Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock.com

Should these three not suit you, here are seven more reasonable strategies:

4.  Make packing and moving an adventure

You and your children are going to pack and prepare eventually — so start today. Your children can help by tagging their most cherished items and “helping you” pack the rest.

5. Have a go-and-show plan

It is really important to take advantage of all opportunities to show your home. Pack a bag, buy a few movie passes and be ready to vacate with little notice.

6. Remember: less is more

Use strategy No. 4 to clear out as much as you can. Less stuff equals a bigger feel and a better chance for buyers to envision their future in your home.

7. Flush the system

Be the designated “last responder” just before a showing. A final check of the bathrooms can eliminate unwanted distractions for potential buyers.

8. Keep odors at bay

Too often the strengths of a home are masked and hidden by odors.

Keep fresh air flowing. Keep teenage sons and their friends far away, and be aware of pet odors that no longer register with you.

9. Stay neutral

Children’s rooms and playrooms that boast themes and bright colors, posters and creative lighting should be neutralized. Remember that grown-ups are buying your home.

10. Breathe

Your home doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s rarely the outcome that impresses people. More often it’s the effort that matters most.

Try to have fun and enjoy all the people you will meet in your real estate adventure. Oh, and don’t forget your children come moving day!

Brian McKenna manages two residential resale offices for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Blake. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Email Brian McKenna.