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How to Sell a House with Kids: A Guide for Stressed Parents

Selling a home is stressful enough as is, but trying to keep it “show ready” when you have small children is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. Seems impossible right?

As a Realtor®, mom of 3 littles and a "professional mover", I can assure you that while not ideal, it's completely manageable if you hire a great realtor and follow these simple steps!

Prepping your home before it goes on the market:

1. Declutter: This is THE most important step for both your sanity and the potential sale of your home. If you can, rent a storage locker or bribe and beg a family member to use their garage and pack up as much as you can! If you can’t find another home for your belongings, purchase some large plastics tots and throw and label everything that you don't use daily into them. This will not only make for quicker clean up but will also give the potential buyers a clear vision of the space.

2. Declutter again: Once you think you've cleared the clutter, put another 25% away in storage. You'll thank me later!

3. Depersonalize: Potential buyers have a hard time seeing past your family portraits and nicknacks. Minimize your personal belongings and stage your home to maximize space . Walk through every room in your home and pretend you’re a Buyer. If what you see helps people get to know you as you, remove it.

4. Freshen up your space, both inside and out: A fresh coat of neutral paint can make a big impact! Fix any little repairs, plant some flowers and clean up the yard!

5. Hire a Realtor: If you haven’t already hired someone, today is the day. Your realtor will likely need two weeks to schedule and prepare the marketing. An experienced listing agent will also guide you through the home preparation and staging process, so you don’t have to do it alone. Of course, our team would love to help you buy or sell your home!

Once you’re on the market:

1. Request notice: It's ok if you can't keep your home “show ready”- seriously, who can? You can request that your realtor give you 24 hours notice before any showings. This may save your sanity. Maybe you won’t need that much notice but the ease of knowing you have the time you need to clean and make arrangements for the kids and dogs is really nice.

2. Make a check list: Make a list of everything that needs to be done to each room and save it. Use this as your guide to make sure nothing gets missed or overlooked!

3. Hide toys: Although I know it’s tempting, you can’t rid your kids of all their toys. Leave a couple plastic tots empty for when a call comes in! This way you can quickly throw the surviving toys into the bins and store them neatly in a closet or basement. Laundry piled up? Throw it and whatever else you can in the trunk of your car!

4. Clean one room at a time: Tackle one room at a time, from top to bottom. Once finished close the door and make it a no enter zone. (just don’t forget to turn the lights back on and open the doors before you leave!)

5. Keep the kids minimally involved: You may be tempted to get the kids involved. Don’t do this - this is a bad idea. Put on a long movie.

6. Ask for Help: If someone is willing to help clean or take your kids and animals while you clean - say yes!

7. Invest in a cleaner: If the budget allows, hire someone to come in weekly (or even biweekly) to do the dirty work for you. This will save you loads of time and energy!

8. Grab an air freshener and double check the toilets: Kids are notorious forgetful flushers so a last minute bathroom sweep to eliminate any "surprises" is a must! Remember to cover up those mystery smells, you might not be able to smell your loveable pet (or child) but others can.

Lastly, take one last walk through. Do you see anything that might distract or turn off a Buyer? If so make adjustments and then... Don’t. Touch. Anything. Back away slowly…you’re done!

We would love to help you buy or sell your home! Let's chat!

Tracey Boulter


House To Home Team of Keller Williams Capital Realty

(506) 260-7538


I fell in love with Fredericton when I moved here in 2005 to attend University, and decided to make it my home. Being married to a handy man and a lover of fixer-uppers, I’ve had the "opportunity" of living in many different communities within the Fredericton area, each with their own unique benefits. For now, we are living the waterfront life, and loving every minute of it, with our three children and high maintenance hamster, Lilly. After staying home chasing our 3 littles for 6 (mostly wonderful) years, I decided I wanted a change - something just for me!

Two and a half years later and I can say that Real Estate was exactly what I had been looking for. A career that allowed me to smash together my love for people with my love for business and buying and selling homes. I love helping people and for me, it's not only about negotiating the best price for my clients, but also about seeing the uniqueness in every transaction and building relationships. I see the importance of surrounding myself with like-minded, trusted professionals within the community to insure my clients receive the service and protection they need and deserve. I can’t wait to show you what our new team has in store for our present and future clients!

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