5 tips for staging with kids in the house

It’s safe to say that the most popular science experiment of all time is the baking-soda volcano. At some point, probably when you were in grade school, you poured vinegar into a cone with a few tablespoons of baking soda and BAM — a simulated volcano erupted right before your eyes.

Fast-forward some years. 

You’re in the process of moving and you find yourself facing a similar situation. Only now, instead of mixing baking soda and vinegar, you have kids and a house to sell.

You've simply got to be careful when combining these two properties.

No matter how adorable your children are, the fact is, they have a lot of stuff. Toys, cribs and more toys. Even if you’re hyper-tidy, it can be tough to keep a home in presentable condition.

As with any real estate challenge, you can work with this situation. In fact, you can even turn the fact that you have children living in your house into an asset that might help you sell your home more quickly. Here are five ways to make this happen:

  1. Stick to a schedule. You may have noticed that when you have kids, things get very messy very fast. To properly stage your home, keep everyone on a strict clean-up schedule. Over the course of one or two weekends, donate old toys, put things in storage and make your home look like it’s inviting and livable — but not lived in. You’ll be far more successful if you do this all at once rather than a little bit here and there.
  2. Stage your home so it appeals to everyone. This is a fundamental guideline whenever you’re selling a house, but it’s especially important when you have children. Keep in mind that not every potential buyer is looking for a kid-friendly home. Therefore, you need to minimize your kid’s “footprint.” Clean up the television area, hide the video games, take down posters and do what you can to show potential buyers that anyone can make this place their home.
  3. Require two-hour advance notice for showings. In many cases, you can specify how much time you need to prepare for a showing. If you have kids, one hour just isn’t enough. Two hours, however, helps you get through nap times, schedule a last-minute playdate at a friend’s house and put your home in order so it’s ready for viewing.
  4. Keep some empty “stashing” spots on hand. If you don’t have time to properly pick up before a showing, an empty trunk or storage space inside a locked closet can be a life saver. Simply gather up the toys, clothes and loose knickknacks and stash them where they can’t be seen. 
  5. Properly stage your nursery/kids room. As many homeowners have young families, showing potential homebuyers how kid-friendly your home is can be a huge advantage. To properly do this, you need to be discreet. Make sure the toys, games and clutter are either out of sight or kept to a tasteful minimum. Let people know how this room could be used for any child, no matter their age.

For more advice on how to get your home ready to sell, talk to a Coldwell Banker Hedges Realtor® today. No matter your situation, they know the market and can help you get top dollar for your home.

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