Staging and Selling a Home When You Have Kids

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August 21, 2017
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Staging and Selling a Home When You Have Kids

When a kid’s room is in your home, while on the market, it can be an uphill battle to keep the space clean and clutter free. These rooms are difficult to keep staged because kids, especially younger ones may not understand the importance of home staging.

Kid’s bedrooms, offices, laundry rooms and basements are considered secondary rooms of the home, so they’re not as important to keep staged as the common areas of the home, however, if you want to tug on the buyer’s heartstrings staging a kid’s room can be just the way to grab an offer. A home that has multiple bedrooms will most likely be the perfect fit for someone looking to start or grow their family, which means they have one thing on their mind….cute little cuddly kids.

This photo does just that! I found this kid’s bedroom on my local Multiple Listing Service, it’s a home currently on the market for $849,000 in Howard Beach, NY. This image reminds buyers they can start a family on this property. I personally love how the homeowners decided to use the disney theme, but in a unique way — it’s not hey look at me I’m Minnie Mouse, rather it hints at her silhouette surrounded by hues of pink and purple. This is how a theme should be introduced in a kid’s area when selling a home to not overpower the major features of the room.

To get the most offers and your home sold, you’ll have to present the property as a blank canvas anyone could love and not just a kid-friendly space. This room pictured above could easily be turned into a home office just by changing the paint and adding the buyer’s office furniture.

That’s why it’s important to…

Stage for All Buyer Scenarios

Consider who will be buying your property — is it buyer’s with multiple children? Are they planning to have kids? If so, they’ll be more forgiving when it comes to your children’s belongings, rather than a buyer who doesn’t want kids. Those buyers will have a harder time picturing themselves living in your family oriented home.

To keep all offers on the table, you’ll need to minimize the presence of kids in your house in a snap!

  • Corral backpacks, coats and shoes in a closet or mudroom to stay on top of “kid stuff” right when they walk through the door.
  • Plan on removing half the items in kid’s areas by packing it, toss it or donate it. By doing this you’re not only creating more space, but you’re making it easier when it comes time to move.
  • Toys you’re keeping store in toy boxes, bins, or baskets. Have a place to store clear boxes out of sight.
  • Remove kid’s artwork and magnets from the refrigerator.
  • Put away children’s school photos and head shots. Display those lifestyle photos of your family on vacation, running a marathon, etc. (No posed pics).

share this quotable on Twitter: “A kid’s room should showcase a place to sleep, play, do homework and grow.” – @ToriTothStager

Avoid Playroom Chaos

An extra room should have multiple functions and purposes inside the space to show buyers that it can be tailored to fit their own lifestyle.While, it’s expected to have a kid corner in a game room, family room or den if you’ve converted a space in your home–like a formal dinging room into a playroom for kids,  you’re going to have to turn it back into it’s original purpose before going on the market. Here’s how to minimize the appearance of the kid zone.

  • Try and organize the room so it’s easy for kids to maintain.
  • Remove any oversized toys or play sets from the room to gain more square footage.
  • Consider painting the space if there are knicks, stains, fingerprints or other marks from child’s play. (Check the floors too, you may have to steam the carpet or refinish the hardwood.)
  • Keep decor to a minimum, we want to highlight the size of the room– not your “stuff.”
  • Pick up most, if not all the items on the floor. Rather than use the floor, try and use wall space to maximize the square footage of the room. (Use vertical space with shelving like the Ikea Kallax.)

Bedroom Prep

If you have multiple bedrooms on the property 1-2 rooms should be featured as a child’s bedroom. This could help save money on the staging if you play with the current theme rather than neutralizing the space. To make the room’s appear more appealing to all buyers do this:

  • Remove dated kid-themed wallpaper and paint to scuffed walls. Consider painting it a more neutral color.
  • Replace any room hardware like–light switches or knobs that feature kid themes.
  • Make sure the bed fits in the space.(Bunk beds can look cramped in small spaces.)
  • Highlight a place for kids to play in the room, as well as a place for them to do homework.
  • Reduce the number of stuffed animals, dolls and other toys normally kept out in the room, so buyers are not distracted.

Get Them Involved

Moving can be a stressful time not only for you, but for your kids depending on the circumstances. It’s important to talk with your kids about the decision to move (their age will guide the conversation) by keeping them aware of the situation they’ll be more inclined to help in the staging process. 

  • Give kids time to adjust to the idea that they’re moving.
  • Tell them what’s in it for them. (There own room, a bigger play area, a yard.)
  • Have them help decide what stays and what goes. When my friends need to get rid go toys — they hold a yard sale or join a consignment sale the items are picked to sell by their kids and they get to keep the money they earn.
  • Direct them to make better habits — make the bed, doing chores, picking up toys before bedtime.
  • Of course you’ll need to reward them for a job well done (the reward will depend on their age it could by monetized or as simple as going for ice cream.)

In the end it’s a small space buyers can easily change if it doesn’t fit their decor personality, if these see the potential in the property that’s why it’s important to maximize each space, cut clutter and showcase a lifestyle. You want buyers to be able to envision their own kid’s spending time in this room. For more home staging tips join our FREE 3-part video series and share your own experience selling a home with children below. I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Selling,

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