Written by Kristin Louis of Parenting with Kris

Even when life is proceeding normally, many parents feel swamped, between jobs, kids, pets, and keeping up with chores. Throw selling the house into the mix and you can feel instantly overwhelmed. If you’re considering putting your home on the market, we have some important information to help you through the process in a family-friendly way.

Start with Solid Maintenance 

When life is busy, something that often falls through the cracks is home maintenance. For example, you look at something so often that you no longer see it, and it simply falls by the wayside. House hunters prefer homes that are move-in ready, so go through your home and yard with a fresh eye. Things like torn window screens, blown light bulbs, cracked siding, and dented drywall should all be brought up to speed. 

Pay attention to your home’s structural features as well; you don’t want to be surprised about a big ticket repair when you’re ready to list your home. For instance, a new roof takes time to install. Furthermore, when weather is agreeable, good contractors are so busy you are likely to end up on a waiting list. Check out Realtor.com’s roofing maintenance checklist, and examine your roof for signs of trouble, such as missing shingles or corroded flashing. If you need a replacement, make sure you connect with a qualified roofing professional as soon as possible to prevent further issues.

Quiet Your Decor

House hunters need to feel welcome in your home, picturing what it will be like to live there. With that in mind, the last thing you want is for them to look around and be reminded constantly that the house is otherwise inhabited. Go through your entire house and depersonalize every space, removing things like refrigerator art, family photos, memorabilia, and collections. Tone down your style, and in the kids’ bedrooms, box up the bulk of the toys, cartoon decorations, and sports gear. Opt for neutral decor, even in the children’s rooms. You can replace themed bedding and window treatments with inexpensive, simple options; just let your kids know they’ll get their favorite things back in the new place. Ideally, the items you edit will be stored offsite, although Freshome points out you can get away with onsite storage if you do so discreetly. 

Give It a Clean Sweep

Thorough cleaning is a must for anyone selling a home, and when you have kids, keeping your home spotless can be one of the toughest challenges. Do one deep cleaning where you address any big messes, like crayon on the walls or stains on carpet. (If you have pets, be sure to tackle those stains and odors as well.) Then, you can clean up quickly when you need to by simply going from top to bottom in every room and hitting all your storage spaces. A checklist is a great way to ensure you don’t miss anything. And no matter how carefully you scrub the walls, nothing beats a fresh coat of paint. Choose neutral colors to refresh your rooms and attract buyers’ eyes; Bower Power recommends painting your walls in grays and soft blues.

Develop a Game Plan

While your home is on the market, you won’t want to revisit deep cleaning for every showing. One idea is to give your kids temporary limitations. For example, restrict them to one bathroom, one play area, and so forth, and ensure you do a quick cleaning any time you leave. Consider eating take-out for a while, or prepare some make-ahead meals so your kitchen stays clean. Assemble some effective cleaning supplies in a caddy and store it in a convenient location so you can grab it on the go. Consider investing in a cordless vacuum so you don’t have to mess with outlets as you work on the fly. 

As busy parents, you might find the idea of selling your home daunting; however, embracing some clever strategies can make all the difference. Present a move-in ready, neutral, uncluttered, and clean home to buyers and you’ll have your house sold in no time!