By Kari McCoy
Putting your home up for sale in today's market is never an easy task with or without kids. Most Real Estate agents will advise their sellers to pay close attention to the complete picture with both outside and well as inside the home. The outside is vital because that is what the buyers see first and there are not second chances because there are too many other homes for sale to look at. Whether your kids are young or they are older you can encourage them into helping the process become easier for you and much smoother for them.
Explain the process and get the kids involved right at the beginning and throughout the entire process. You know when selling your home, having the property look its very best is the top priority. This could mean you sell or you do not sell, or perhaps you get the price you had hoped for….or not.
To kids, real estate sounds boring and means your attention is taken away from them. The kids will be much more interested if they are allowed to participate right from the very beginning of the process. Have the children present when the realtor first comes over to sign papers with you and to offer the list of how a home is shown. Be wise and take this time as an opportunity to be a fun event and you might just find the process more palatable.
You may want to use the example with the kids of pretending your home is like the packaging of a gift. They can then relate, as they have all been given gifts. Help them remember that a large gift box with fancy paper and a nice bow is a gift that they would want to open right away and a smaller package with worn dull colored package with out a ribbon would be probably be opened later without the enthusiasm. Explain to the kids that your home is like a package and you need their help to put the house's best foot forward so the buyers will want to see and buy their house.
Get organized. Help your kids make space for toys and items. Out of sight is the best.
Reducing your excess or perhaps consider using a pod or a storage unit. Then that could offer your kids something to look forward to opening and seeing the items later.
You and the kids can start packing up the little knick-knacks and clear off the counter tops and dressers.
Once the home is in show condition sit down with the kids and asks them to help create a short list of items to do when everyone wakes up and before they leave the house in the morning.
One idea you might find useful and fun is every 7 days that goes by with your home on the market, celebrate with your kids and take them to a movie of their choice, go out to dinner or out for ice cream on a picnic or what ever they would like to do to reward them during this process. This will offer everyone a sense of accomplishment with bench marks. Be smart and take advantage of a stressful situation and turn it into a fun experience and good memories for everyone.
, CRS has been a Realtor for 25 years and owns the Kari McCoy Group, Residential Real Estate at Coldwell Banker. She can be reached at
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