Thursday, August 27, 2015

Soar With School Strategies

Selling a house can be stressful at any time. With late summer comes relief from extreme heat and a return to school for the kids. New routines, new schools and new friends are all part of the excitement of learning, but they can be stressful. 

When your house is on the market, it can be challenging to maintain an organized house with all these changes! Once the school season hits, smart sellers are prepared for the return to school in several ways.

This is important when buyers may be stopping by at any moment.

So how exactly does a seller keep a house showcase ready with all these changes in routine?

Your Home, Their Home

It may sound crazy to some people, but I have met families where the parents try to keep the sale of the house a secret for one reason or another. This is pointless as even if you are selling without a sign in the yard, the kids will figure it out when buyers start showing up. If they happen to be out during visits, they will definitely realize once you start packing for your new location!

The best way to get their understanding and cooperation is to let them know. With their help, the constant state of readiness for buyers will be less challenging.

Imagine having them find out after the decision to sell is made. They may feel betrayed, disappointed and intentionally sabotage visits by making a mess!

From their point of view, they may have friends in the area or favorite secret spots that they may wish to enjoy to the fullest while they can. They may want a way to note fond memories in the house. They might like to take pictures of their rooms, friends or the neighborhood as mementos. This process is all best done with openness and honesty.

Their Rooms

The late summer is a great time for a purge. Once school starts, your kids will have many other demands on their time. Especially if the kids are entering or changing schools. 

Back to school might also be the perfect reason to update their rooms for a more grown up and neutral look. This will help you with your staging in order to make your house more appealing to buyers without children, who have children in different age groups or different sexes from yours.

Some of the best ways to neutralize would be to:

Remove any themed wall papers, borders, posters, wall hangings and anything suspended from the ceiling.

Limit large collections of dolls, toys or other collectibles to two or three favorite pieces and put the rest in off site storage – or donate or sell them. This may be just the reason to goodbye to the childhood collection that has just been sitting there gathering dust!

Repaint to cover the Barbie pink or Superman blue from the walls and replace it with something more appealing to all ages. 

Find something gender neutral like soft yellows, greens or beiges. Neutral does not have to be boring. With a little creativity - such as using stripes to create some interest, your child may even like the new look. Stay away from anything pink or blue until you get to your new house.

If your kids put up a fuss, remind them that this is temporary and play up the opportunity for them to decorate in your new house.

Play Areas

If your kids are lucky enough to have a dedicated play area, it may be time to repurpose the space for something else. Here, too, get your kids to sort out what they still use and store it off site. Donate or sell anything that has been outgrown or has lost favor.

Depending on the type of space, a guest bedroom or home office would be the most advantageous way to go to impress buyers. 

Let your kids know whether or not they may still use the space once it is repurposed. 

If you decide to let them use it, have an understanding that it must be visitor ready whenever they are not occupying the room.


When kids are in school, they will inevitably come home with art, assignments, report cards, awards and trophies that you will want to display. 

Resist the temptation to place these items on bulletin boards, the fridge, shelves or other surfaces. To buyers, this will only be distracting and unwelcome clutter.

Instead, come up with a plan to celebrate in another way. For every one, three, five (whatever you decide is a good number) achievements, you will go out to a special event – whatever activity your kids enjoy.

Be sure they understand why you are not putting these great achievements on display. If you can, tell them or show them where they will be placed once you get to your new home.

Study Areas

If you have a dedicated study area for your kids, come up with a strategy to keep it neat and organized. 

A storage chest or ottoman may be the perfect place to quickly stash school supplies or ongoing projects prior to a showing. 

Get some stylish decorative boxes to store small items like pens, USBs and chargers to keep them contained and out of sight. 

Have a plan for keeping any large or extended science projects in check.

If your children should find visits too disruptive to their studies, keep a schedule on hand of the hours for local libraries and have a plan to take them there, if needed.

Cooperative Cleaning

Make sure your kids understand how important it is to keep their rooms neat and clean while your house is up for sale. You don’t want to be scrambling to get the whole house ready if you suddenly have buyers coming in a half hour! Even if you have to bribe them with merit points or prizes, get them to:

  • Keep their floors clear
  • Make their beds
  • Keep their bathrooms presentable and clean
  • Hang their clothes or put them in drawers or hampers

Offer cash bonuses (if needed) for doing extra chores around the house or yard to keep the house ready for viewing at all times.

Multiple Showings

If you are having multiple showings or an open house, it might be wise to get the kids out of the house. Use this as an opportunity to reward them for all of the hard work they have done to keep their rooms spotless!

Another suggestion would be to send them to friends’ houses or have a friend or relative watch them for a while. Libraries, parks or even a mall offer great and free diversion.

Extra-curricular Activities

If your kids participate in sports or other activities after school or on weekends, be prepared. Have a plan in place with other parents, friends or family members to pick up or drop off your kids in the event that you suddenly need to concentrate on a showing. Make sure to keep the activity's staff informed in advance to avoid any guardianship issues at pick-up time.

If you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life - and minimize disruption of the school year, but your house isn’t prepared, we can help. 

If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this fall, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. 

Contact us for details.

Next time we will look at must haves for the luxury home.

So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can 

Turn Your House To $OLD!

Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.

Linda  623-335-2662

Article Sources:

Lynda Bathory