The Get Smart Team
Justin Timmons & Sabrina Wickham

Need to stage your home with kids..

House is on the market, you have a great realtor (if you don’t’, please contact us) now it is time to show the house!!! Ugh, but I have kids, we totally live in our house, how can I keep it presentable.

Don’t despair, here are some ideas..

1.) All clutter must go. This seems to be the biggest, most central guiding principle in selling your house – the “Shema of home staging”, if you will. The less random clutter you have hanging out in your house, the more open and airy and thus inviting the space will feel. And, consequently, the more potential buyers will get good vibes from the place, translating to an offer. Here are some specific ideas for minimizing the clutter in a kid’s room:

•Pack up everything that isn’t absolutely necessary. Obviously in a toddler’s room you need certain things – the crib/bed, the changing table, a good stash of diapers and wipes, etc. etc. But when it comes to toys, consider only keeping one box per child. Most children only actively use 3-4 favorite toys at a time, so pack away all extra toys, stuffed animals, and books. Then organize the remaining toys neatly in attractive baskets and bins. (And make sure these pieces aren’t things like Play-Doh or Legos, which are impossible to clean up in a hurry.) Only display a select few toys on shelves.
•Consider renting an offsite storage unit to stash your extra stuff, or ask a generous friend/nearby relative if they would mind storing a few things in their garage until your house sells. If nothing else, at least hide your extra belongings out of viewers’ sight in a closet, your own garage, a potting shed, or a cupboard under the stairs (assuming you don’t already have a small wizard boy living there).
•Remove large play items. Pretend kitchen sets and kid-sized furniture should be stored out of sight instead of taking up valuable floor space. Again, you are going for the open, spacious look.
•Keep in mind, potential buyers will most likely open closets and snoop around a bit, so the less of a disaster you have hiding behind closed doors, the better. In fact, one site I visited suggested sellers clean and pare down all closets, too – leaving 20% to 30% open space in each. This would mean storing additional stuff offsite, but it could be well worth it, considering storage space can be a make-or-break issue for buyers. And clean closets give the illusion of ample storage space.

2.) Be conscious of undesirable smells. This kinda goes without saying, but make sure the diaper pail is emptied at least daily, and if possible, take out dirty diapers immediately to reduce the odor building up in the nursery. (Btw, this same principle goes for pet odors, too. If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and cleaning surfaces. And be sure to keep any well-loved pet toys out of sight while tours are scheduled.)

3.) Request to be given a minimum time notice, say 3 hours for example, before the house can be shown each time. If you’ve already given the house a thorough cleaning (and you are more or less keeping up with it), 3 hours should be enough time to put away any new clutter and pack up your kiddos for a trip to the park/library/grocery store/wherever.

Some additional tips and tricks that aren’t necessarily related to children, but will help you live in a staged home and/or sell your home faster:

•Deep clean your home from top to bottom, possibly even calling in a maid service. Then work to keep it that way (e.g. put dishes in the dishwasher right away, do laundry as it comes, pick up after kids often, etc.).
•Consider only living out of certain spaces and leaving other rooms closed off. Use baby gates or shut doors to barricade these spaces from getting messy again.
•Hang the kitchen and bathroom towels you are using in a designated location (such as the laundry room), and throw them into bins during a showing. This allows your hanging “staged” towels to remain untouched, and you won’t have to constantly be changing them out or re-primping them.
•Boost your home’s curb appeal. Wash your windows, mow your lawn, add flowers or other attractive landscaping elements. And be sure any children’s outdoor toys are put away.
•Try to stay neutral with the colors of your walls and decorations in order to appeal to the most amount of buyers. For instance, you may totally love your painted orange walls and your collection of kitsch figurines, but not everyone will.
•Add in a few homey touches here and there. Don’t overdo this, but simple things like a vase of cut flowers on the table, a bowl of fresh produce on the kitchen counter, and a cozy throw resting over the back of an armchair will give a house the welcoming feeling of home.
•Create a lifestyle people are looking for. Generally speaking, you want to play up what your neighborhood or area is known for. Have a house in a quiet, grassy suburb? Hanging a hammock in your backyard and a bench swing on your porch could be the perfect touch.

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Hope you enjoy

Posted on February 23, 2016 at 12:14 pm by Justin Timmons & Sabrina Wickham

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