Prepping and maintaining your home for sale, especially when you have kids, can be an extremely stressful and nearly impossible task. Every day is a battle to keep the house tidy and days with scheduled showings are the most difficult. As a home owner who recently sold my house with two kids (4 and 2), I can attest to the difficulty of prepping for showings while kids run around dumping toys and spilling juice on the freshly mopped floor.
If you decide to brave the road of selling your home when you have kids, here are some tips to reduce the insanity.
- Declutter – Prior to putting your home on the market, spend time going through each room and deciding what needs to go. Now is the time to get rid of older toys and outgrown clothes. It might take ten trips to Goodwill but use this as an opportunity to purge. My son tends to gather random items (rocks, rope, feathers, craft projects, etc.) in his room. Unfortunately (for him), this stuff has to go.
- Store the bigger stuff – Now that you are down to the toys that your kids actually play with and that you won’t mind hauling to your new home, it’s time to whittle it down further. Decide what toys will get used most often and store the larger items (push toys, lego tables, pop up tents, etc.). This stuff is more difficult to deal with when you have a showing scheduled in less than an hour.
- Stage kids’ spaces for pictures – If you have a great kids’ play space or have worked hard to decorate bedrooms, show it off for the pictures. Potential families will enjoy seeing how you used the space. Do not try to keep the initial photo staging (like setting a tea party for the stuffed animals) perfect for each showing. You will go insane.
- Keep storage totes or bins on hand – Before a showing, the bins can be loaded quickly with small toys and stuffed animals and stored in a closet, the garage, or the back of the car (see #6!).
- Have a pre-showing checklist – Have a checklist of all the areas of the house that need to be checked prior to leaving house (toilet lids down, floors vacuumed, diaper pail emptied, beds made, etc.) This reduces the chance that you will miss something in those hectic moments before running out the door. I’ve learned that kids tend to forget to flush after using the bathroom; having a checklist eliminates any “surprises” for potential buyers.
- Keep the back of your car empty – The back of your car is a great place to toss any last minute clutter when you’ve run out of time. When we sold our home, the back of our car contained anything from dirty laundry to the dog.
- Occupy the kids – We all know how difficult it is when the kids are making a mess faster than you can clean! Set aside screen time for the hour before showings so you can clean without interruption. Purchase special toys, activity books, and games that are only brought out while you are getting the house ready for a showing. Bring them out in a limited space, such as the dining room table, and leave that space as the last area cleaned.
- Snacks and a plan – Showings are commonly scheduled during mealtimes, so having snacks on hand to ward off hunger induced crabbiness, while you’re stuck out of your house, is crucial. Don’t bust your new home budget eating out during every showing! Have a plan of easy places to go with the kids. We had a spare key to my in-laws’ house and would often go hang-out there. Head to a park or indoor play space or just walk around the mall. Have your grocery list saved on your phone and use this time to run errands.
- Have the kids help clean up! -Take as long as you need to laugh at this.
- OR…..Sell your home with Nate Lansing and Selling with Kids and make your life easier! – As part of the marketing of your home, my team comes out before each showing to complete any light cleaning and get the house “show ready”, at no cost. All you have to do is get the family ready and head out of your house! For more info click HERE.
Recently the City of Minneapolis expanded the city’s Rehab Support Program to include more neighborhoods in south Minneapolis. The Rehab Support program was created by the City of Minneapolis to help improve housing and boost the housing market in neighborhoods that had seen high foreclosure rates or aging housing stock. Currently 23 neighborhoods are eligible for the program, many in south Minneapolis, including, Field, Regina, Minnehaha, Bancroft, among others (for a complete list see below). The program works with the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency’s Community Fix Up Loan to provide low interest home improvement loans.
Eligible borrowers may borrow up to $30,000 at 2% interest with repayment terms up to 20 years. Funds can be used for a variety of home improvements, including, any code enforcement orders, kitchen and bath remodeling, new siding and windows, permanent landscaping features, and many more projects.
Eligible borrowers must reside in the home or duplex where the work will be performed. Borrowers must also meet certain income requirements. Borrowers income cannot exceed 115% of the area median income (AMI) which is currently $98,700. If borrowers do not qualify due to the income limit, many neighborhoods have neighborhood loan programs which may be an option.
For more information on the loan program or to see if you qualify, contact Jennifer Camacho-Schalo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-673-5174.
Eligible South Minneapolis neighborhoods include:
Minneapolis public schools are facing a $33 million budget deficit in the upcoming year. While administrations wrestle with the budget, much of the burden will fall on parent groups to make up the difference.
For every home bought/sold in 2018, Selling with Kids will donate $250 to the school PTA or group of your choice. Let’s help keep our Hale/Field Community strong!
What in the world is THAT?
The employment landscape and wages have both improved over the last few years, allowing for more people to participate in the home-buying process. When the economy is in good working order, as it is now, it creates opportunities in residential real estate, and right now is a potentially lucrative time to sell a home. Houses that show well and are priced correctly have been selling quickly, often at higher prices than asking.
Although there is a mounting amount of buyer competition during the annual spring market cycle, buyer demand has not abated, nor is it expected to in the immediate future unless something unpredictable occurs. While strong demand is generally considered a good problem to have, it creates an affordability issue for some buyers, especially first-time buyers. And yet, prices will continue to rise amidst strong demand. Read full report here. Source: MAAR
Minneapolis public schools are facing a 2.5% budget cut in the upcoming year. While administrations wrestle with the budget, much of the burden will fall on parent groups to make up the difference.
For every home bought/sold in 2017, Selling with Kids will donate $250 to the school PTA or group of your choice. Help keep communities strong by supporting local schools.
May need a fresh coat of paint.
Slim pickings put a lid on home sales in the Twin Cities metro last month, the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors said Wednesday.
In February, 3,969 home buyers signed purchase agreements, just a half-percent gain from a year ago. Closings were flat and the median price of those closings jumped 7.6 percent to $223,000.
In many communities sellers are receiving nearly, or more than, their asking price, and houses are selling in less than a month. On average, houses sold in 82 days, 14.6 percent faster than last year. And at the current sales pace, there are enough houses on the market to last only 1.8 months, according to the association’s latest data. That was the second lowest figure on record for any month since January 2003. A five- to six-month supply is considered balanced. Read the full article here. Source:Star Tribune
Scammers have been been targeting buyers in the Twin Cities with a new scam aimed at stealing their down payment. Read more to learn how they are doing it.
Remember the only party in a transaction who would request a wire transfer is the buyer’s title company. Always confirm the wire transfer instructions and amounts with your agent and/or your closing agent.