Getting a house ready for that final step, putting the “for sale” sign in the front yard and welcoming strangers into your home to critique it, is hard enough when you don’t have an endless supply of children’s stuff laying around. People coming into view your home and potentially make an offer to buy it don’t want to trip over stuffed animals, dolls, bouncy seats, baby swings, race cars, or video game systems. They don’t want to feel like they have inadvertently entered a Toys R Us store instead of the home they were maybe considering purchasing.
The trick is to make your place look like a great place for kids without it looking like there isn’t room for all the stuff that come with kids. Plus not everyone looking at your home is going to a) have kids b) want kids or c) care if the house is a good family house. Staging your house to appeal to all potential buyers, whether they have kids or not, means staging your house so that the people looking at it barely notice all the kid stuff.
As someone currently getting her place ready for sale and in the market looking at homes I may want to purchase I know both how hard it can be to make all that kid stuff seem like it has disappeared and what a difference having a house properly staged can make on a potential buyer. It doesn’t matter if your house is big or small, has lots of storage or lacks storage. The key is good staging. Here are a few tips and tricks for keeping all that kid stuff in check while you are trying to sell your home.
- Go through it all and get rid of anything that you no longer need. If you have been holding onto old baby gear like high chairs, bouncy seats, diaper genies, etc, but don’t plan on having any more kids get rid of it. Donate it, recycle it, etc.
- Consider renting a storage locker somewhere so you can store stuff your kids aren’t currently using but you will have a need for in the future. For example if it is summer your kids won’t need all their winter gear like snowsuits, sleds, skis, etc so put it in storage. Any toys or gear your kids have outgrown but that future children will need can go in the storage locker.
- If you have a playroom make sure it is well organized and doesn’t look to cluttered. Consider a shelving unit and bins to help keep toys organized and up off the floor when the house is being shown.
- If you don’t have a playroom and your kids use your living room as their play area consider getting versatile pieces of furniture that can act as storage for the kids toys but still look like grown up furniture. For example, a ottoman that opens for storage can make a great toy box. Beautiful weaved baskets to slide into the bottom shelf of a book shelf in the living room also are great ways to stow kids toys away and still have the room look like a grown up space. Consider storing most of their toys (or at least some of their toys) in their bedroom during showings.
- Keep kids bedrooms clean and clutter-free. Organize book shelves, kids toys and clothing in a fashion that is cute and clean.
The idea is make the kids stuff blend into the rest of the house. You want potential buyers to recognize that this is a great house for kids but at the same time not feel like a nice grown up house as well. If they have children they will love seeing bedrooms already nicely decorated for kids, and that there is enough space in the house that they won’t have to worry about tripping over their own kids’ stuff if they decide to buy the house. A well staged, clutter free, clean house is always more appealing to potential buyers.
When you are getting ready to sell your house be sure to talk to your real estate agent about your kids’ stuff and find out what recommendations they have.