If you want to sell your home, summer is the season to do it, with 80 percent of people planning to move in the U.S. between April and September. That’s when buyers have more time to look for the perfect house and are getting ready to have their children start at a new school in a new neighborhood.
But there are a few reasons why you’ll want to target the beginning of summer to put that “for sale” sign up on your home. According to data from HomeLight, 71 percent of top real estate agents across America recommend listing your house during this time. You may be wondering how you can show your property’s best face when your kids are home for the summer and running around — but don’t worry, we have you covered with these tips.
Don’t overpack your schedule but keep the kids busy
Some parents might think a packed weekly schedule of camps, playdates, and swim lessons is the best way to maintain a clean and kid-free home. However, digital parenting coach, Shelley Jefsen, who has sold both her family homes in the summer, advises against this tactic, because it can create more stress.
Instead of focusing on set activities, allow for some flexibility to accommodate last-minute home tours. Keep a list of places where you can take your kids without much notice, like a library, arts center, or a local pool, to keep them occupied during a last minute showing.
Minimize personal items
When staging a home to sell, you’ll want to pack up a majority of the items in your home. Some specific items to target during the summer when kids are home are messy toys or activities, like painting sets. You can instead find a space for your child to enjoy those activities outside of your house for a few weeks. You’ll also want to keep clothing to a minimum, to avoid overflowing laundry baskets. Ideally, you want to pack away all but a week’s worth of clothes for each person in your family during the selling process.
Make meals easy
There’s no faster way to make a mess in your house than cooking. To keep the mess in the kitchen under control, prep meals before you show your house, so you can grab something from the freezer, or fridge and serve it quickly without appliances, knives, and cutting boards. Doing meal prep will save you time and money from ordering take-out — and it will also be healthier for everyone.
Keep your cool
Showing your home while it’s on the market is stressful — with or without the kids being home. Make sure you have an agent who understands your needs and can help plan showings that will fit your schedule. The process will no doubt cause some disruption, but the key is controlling what you can. Stay flexible, plan ahead, and in moments of chaos, remember the end goal is turning that “for sale” sign into a solid “sold.” By starting early, you may even get to take a last-minute summer vacation.
Author bio: Liz Shemaria is a journalist and founder of the organization Echopop. A third-generation Northern Californian, Liz launched a news site for AOL, where she spent two years covering real estate development, business, crime, education, and politics.