Our job as REALTORS(r) is not only to sell your home, but to make sure you have a happy experience. Selling your home is already a stressful event. We have showings and open houses and we would like your home to look as perfect as possible during these times. If you have children and pets we understand that this is not always easy. Each of us on our team have sold our own homes in our various situations and have come up with what we think are the best tips to help you through the selling process with kids and pets.

Communication with your REALTOR(r): This is the most important tip we can give. Communication with your REALTOR(r) is essential. We can set up potential showing times that will not inconvenience you as much. For example, one of us recently sold a home – single – but with a dog. They worked all day and the dog was home. It was agreed with the REALTOR(r) that showings should be between 6:30pm and 8pm during the week and any time during the weekends. This allowed the seller to get home from work – clean the house – and take the dog to the dog park during showings. A seller with children can request that we give at least 3 hours notice before a showing – giving enough time to clean up and take the kids out. You can also advise that there are no showings after 7:30pm as your kids need to go to bed. As REALTORS(r) we would love to be able to show your house anytime – but we understand. Keep your REALTOR(r) in the loop about weekends away or birthday parties in your backyard on a Saturday afternoon. If you have a cat – make sure we know whether or not the cat is allowed outside. The more informed we are – the easier your experience will be.

De-clutter and de-personalize: We know how difficult it is to keep the house clean, organized and de-cluttered when it comes to young children. When buyers walk through your house, they want to be able to picture themselves living there. They picture their own furniture in place. These buyers may not have children. Storage bins are great for the quick pick up and hiding of toys. Remove personal photographs, fridge art and other items so buyers can see themselves living there. Remove from the kids rooms any decals and kid stickers from the walls. We also recommend re-painting that kid friendly wall colour (hot pink – yikes!).

Playrooms: If you are lucky enough to have a designated playroom for your kids – show it off! Make sure the room is neat and clean but show the potential buyers that if they have kids – this is the best room ever! Keep toys off the floor and neatly put away in storage bins or shelves. Alternately, keeping your playroom/bonus room neat will show buyers the room size for a home office or home theatre room (if they don’t have kids).

Clean: We understand. Kids are messy. Sticky fingerprints on kitchen cabinets. Scuffs on baseboards. Stains on the carpet. Sound familiar? It’s time to get out your Magic Eraser and clean up. If you have pets – you have fur. Vacuum the pet fur from your couches and beds. Rent a carpet cleaner and give your carpets a good going over. Clean all stair banisters and handrails (good places for sticky fingers). Buyers will notice these little things and it may turn them off.

Smells: You probably don’t notice the smells anymore. Spilt milk. Diaper Genies. Hockey bags. Kitty Litter. Wet dog smell. They’re there you just don’t notice them anymore. Make sure the kitty litter is clean and empty. Empty the diaper genie. Keep the hockey bag in the trunk of your car during showings. Clean your carpets, wash your curtains. Use air fresheners but don’t go overboard. An over-powering flowery scent can turn off a buyer as much as a smelly kitty litter can.

Experienced REALTORS(r) won’t be afraid to help advise you on these issues. Don’t be offended if your REALTOR(r) advises you that they smell kitty litter. This is our job. We want to sell your home so you can move on to your next home and we want the experience for you to be a good one.

If you are thinking of selling your home, Contact Us, The Saugeen Team, Century 21 In-Studio Realty Inc., Brokerage for your free market evaluation and more staging tips. Get The Saugeen Team on your side!