Selling your home if you have children and pets doesn’t have to be that hard. In fact it’s easy if you follow the simple tips in this article. Let’s be honest: if you have pets and children, it can be a challenge to keep things tidy and ready to show at all times. For some, it can be truly overwhelming.
If you have children and pets, there are simple changes you can make to your routine, that will ensure your house appeals to the majority of buyers that want to view it.
- Pack Up Things No One Needs
- Establish Clean-up Routines
- Get Pets Out During Showings
- Consider Their Feelings Too
PACK UP THINGS NO ONE NEEDS
Before you’re ready to sell, start packing away the extras. By doing so, you’ll not only be ready to show your home to buyers, but on moving day you’ll be more ready because everything will already be packed away.
Key takeaways for dealing with children:
- Remove all their artwork from the walls and fridge.
- Repaint the walls if necessary.
- Only keep out one or two stuffed animals.
- Have boxes ready to quickly store things away.
- Store the boxes or containers in the store room or basement.
Your kids’ rooms might be a fun and colourful space where their artwork and toys are spread out to enjoy—we get that—but it doesn’t help to make a sale.
Remove their drawings and stickers from the walls and the fridge, and consider re-painting if necessary. Keep the stuffed animals to an absolute minimum, and only keep out the toys they use regularly.
Before your first open house, make sure you have a few boxes ready where you can quickly get all the extras out of the way and tuck it discreetly in a store room or in the basement.
Key takeaways for dealing with pets:
- Put away items that don’t need to be out.
- Store unnecessary items in a storage box.
- Place the pet bed neatly in a corner of one room.
- Clean the pet food and water bowls.
- Make sure your home smells fresh and clean.
Tidying up for pets is much easier. Simply put away any items that don’t need to be out. Little furry toys, bouncy rubber balls and chewed-up bones are all a part of pet ownership but buyers don’t need to see then.
Store all these items in a box and put it away before you’re going to have a showing. Place one pet-bed in the corner of one room, and make sure to clean up the food bowls. Try to make your pets the cleanest looking pets in town.
If your pets have a lot of fur or easily get dirty, consider giving them a deep-clean bath so they look and smell fresh. Remember no one wants to buy a home that smells like a farm when they walk in the door.
ESTABLISH CLEAN-UP ROUTINES
Getting into a daily habit of making the beds, picking up the clothes and putting away the toys will make it much easier to be ready for last-minute home showings. Regularly cleaning mean half of your work will already be done.
If a showing happens to fall on a particularly busy day in your home, you can also ask your Brantford REALTOR® for some extra time to clean things up. This will ensure you have enough time to make everything look neat and that unnecessary things are put away before the buyers come.
Key take aways for clean up routines:
- Vacuum regularly.
- Change your furnace filter.
- Remove the litter box.
- Clean up floor accidents.
- Clean pet messes in your background.
REMEMBER TO KEEP ON TOP OF CLEAN-UPS
Living with kids and pets mean spills, accidents and other unexpected messes. Try to stay on top of these so they don’t add up into a giant mess you don’t have time to clean up.
- Vacuum regularly: Vacuum all the pet hair that lingers on beds, furniture, floors, countertops and anywhere else those fur balls attach to. This is not a task you do only once. You have to maintain it in case you get an unexpected call from your real estate agent telling you that a buyer wants to see your home immediately.
- Change your furnace filter: If it has been a while since your furnace filter was changed, do it now. Some home buyers actually check the furnace. If they see it’s packed with animal fur, they will worry about whether you actually maintain your home.
- Remove the litter box: The smell of a litter box will turn off buyers almost instantly. The best thing to do is store it away somewhere discreet during showings, and simply take it out again once the visitors leave.
- Clean up accidents on the floor immediately: Don’t give spills a chance to soak into carpets, the wood floors or furniture. Get those spills cleaned up quickly before they stain. If you think you need it, you may want to splurge and pay for a professional carpet or upholstery cleaning to ensure everything looks great.
- Clean the pet mess in your backyard: Remember that buyers will be walking around your yard to look at the house from different angles and perspectives. Nothing turns off a prospective buyer like stepping in a pile of poop in the grass. To avoid this, make sure to quickly go to your backyard and pick up any droppings and try to do this on a daily so you are always ready for last-minute showings.
GET PETS OUT DURING SHOWINGS
As mentioned above, when an agent schedules a showing at your home, you will need to quickly tidy up and leave so they can view the home. While you will be taking your kids with you when you leave, we also strongly recommend removing any pets from the home during these showings too.
Dogs of any size can scare potential buyers, even if they are crated or locked away in a room. In fact, some people are so turned off by pets that even your skittish cat hiding under the bed can be a deterrent for them.
We want your home to be as appealing as possible so it’s best if you can take them all with you for a car ride. You can also go for a walk while the buyer looks around your home too.
Try to temporarily relocate your pets if you are expecting many showings. This is a good time to let your pets live at Grandma’s house, or even at the neighbours’ if they’re friendly with them. By removing the pets, you avoid the risk of loud barking when the doorbell rings, or growling and hissing while people are looking around your home.
If your pets absolutely can not be removed from the home for a showing, think about containing them. Put your dog in a crate with a blanket covering it up and a sign that says “Do Not Disturb”. You can put your cat in a storage room (not a principle room) with a sign on the door indicating the cat is inside.
Taking these precautions will ensure you don’t scare buyers and you’ll remove any chances of them getting bit. It also ensures that the pets don’t escape the house while the buyers are looking around (it can happen, despite our best attempts).
CONSIDER THEIR FEELINGS TOO
Preparing your kids for a move can be an emotional rollercoaster. They may be leaving the only home they’ve ever known. Encourage them to share their feelings before and after the move.
- Encourage your children to share their feelings about the move.
- Let them get involved in packing, and getting ready for showings.
- Make showings a fun-packed event.
- Talk about the positives about moving into the new home.
- Take them to interesting places during showings.
Let them get involved and excited about the change too. They can definitely help with tidying up for showings, even if it’s just getting them to turn on all the lights in the house before you leave.
Have some fun during showings and make it a fun event. You can take them to a movie, go to the park, or visit the library, and overall just enjoy this time you get to spend together. Take these opportunities to talk to them about the positives of moving into a new place and what excitement it will bring.
THE TAKE HOME
When selling your home, your house becomes a product that you’re trying to market to the largest audience as possible. That includes people that are not interested in animals and children the way we are.
By taking these particular things into consideration, you greatly improve your chances of finding a firm buyer that loves your home as much as you do.
If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you can read our recent article that lists Foolproof Tips to Prepare Your Home For Selling to get your home ready for a sale.
You can contact The Kate Broddick Team for professional help on selling real estate in Brantford once you’re ready to get started.