I remember life before kids... Things were simple. You know, very simple. Dinner & drinks with the wife anytime we wanted, unplanned trips... we lived life on our watch.
But kids "truly change everything..." I also recall all the advise I got for when we would eventually have kids..."don't let them grow up too fast... how to get them to sleep through the night, yada yada...." and all the other tricks to help you survive parenthood.
BUT - the one thing nobody warned me about - is how much STUFF these kids accumulate! You've probably seen some of this stuff:
(if they're pushing this around that means you're in trouble, they're walking)
(WTH is that a lawn mower?)
(is that a dragon!?)
You get the point...kids somehow accumulate stuff, and it's all big & bulky plastic stuff that takes up a lot of space. And now your current place is getting tighter & tighter, so you might be considering selling your home.
So HOW do you sell your home, with all this stuff? Fear not, you've come to the right place. I have a 1 year old and 3 year old, so I get you... I'm also an experienced realtor, and I've moved with kid's junk before, so I've learned quite a bit on what works and what I personally should have done differently.. So I'm going to share with you, my Top 5 Tips on how to sell a home with kids.
1. Pack up 80% of your kids' toys and store it. Yes, get rid of literally 4 of every 5 toys that are in the house. Because I can guarantee you kids don't use 80% of the toys they have, so pack em up, store them away. Use a storage unit (as cheap as $60 per mo or $2 a day), garage space, a family member's house, or your basement. Get boxes from Home Depot for $2 each, then pack it up and store it, and stuff it away.
2. Sell during the spring or summer. If you're selling a home with kids, you'll want somewhere to go for showings. If it's the middle of winter, your options are limited. But if it's warmer (we're in Chicago, so above 50 degrees) then you'll have options that are free or cost efficient like just going to the park, going for a walk, or going to a relatives' place. All of this is easy to do when the weather is nice, and you can leverage the outdoors!
3. Clean the baseboards, and touch up paint. Kids are dirty, we all know it. And they're low to the ground, so your baseboards and wall paint will need some touch up. Don't neglect it, because buyers will see it.
4. Plan a weekend away. I get it - traveling is expensive and when you add in kids, it doesn't get any cheaper. But, if you're going to list your home for sale, plan a few "short" trips away the first few weekends you're on the market. Go to a relative's or friend's place that is nearby. Jump online and find a cheap deal.
5. Don't overprice your home. I get it, you want top dollar for your home. You put in some upgrades, new carpet, the coolest light fixture from Lowe's, and maybe you replaced a few appliances. Your home is the best on the block! But let's face it - the competition is fierce, and most of what you did won't matter as much as you might think. Consult with your realtor on how to price your home, but don't start off too high. Price it right the first time around.... Because in the end, your home will have the best chance at selling for top dollar within the first few weeks on the market!
I've sold a home with kids, I've also seen dozens of clients go through the process... Follow these 5 tips, and you'll be on your way to a quick sale for top dollar.
Pat Kalamatas, 103 Realty