Selling a Home when you have Kids

If you have ever sold a house while you had young children, then I admire you.  Moving is a stressful experience already – and adding kids (and their mess) can make you go crazy.  Here are a few life hacks or moving tips to help you sell your home when you have small kids. 


As a REALTOR, I advise my clients to try to have the home “show ready” all the time.  When it’s just an adult or two, it’s pretty manageable….but it’s just not that easy when you have small kids.  Kids have A LOT of stuff, and they don’t usually do a great job of picking up after themselves.  To help you have the home ready to show you might try the following tips and tricks:


Advanced Notice:  Request a 1 or 2 hour notice before each showing appointment.  That should give you enough time to put away any clutter, clean up real quick, and get the kids out of the house.   Most REALTORS in are able to work around a 1-2 hour notice so that your home can look it’s best for their buyers.


Pre-Packing:  Pack away things you can live without for a few months.  Not just from plain sight, but also from closets (giving you more room to hide things on short notice). You might pack away things like toys, games and art supplies, but might also include other things like small kitchen appliances (crock pot, toaster oven) or extra bedding/linens, seasonal home décor, etc.

3.      Now that you have more space in your closets, pick a place to store the things you use everyday.  If you have already packed away some items & put them in storage or in your garage – you can utilize your closet space for kids toys or bulky items like play sets.  For smaller items, use plastic bins or baskets to help transport things to the closets.


Involve the kids:  Depending on the age of your children, you may want to include them in helping to choose what items go into storage for a few months, and which items they can keep out and use every day.   They might even be able to help bring things to the closet for you to stack away.  Definitely talk to the kids about the upcoming move.  Ask for their opinion on things like what toys they want to see in their new room, or maybe what color they would paint their room if they got to choose.  Keeping them involved will help them not only as you plan the move, but after the move too.  It’s not just a stressful time for you, but also for your kids – make sure to talk with them, and really listen to what they have to say.  Stay positive when talking to them about the move.


We have a showing….now what?

Don't panic!  We always recommend that you be away from the home (and remove pets if possible) for all showings.  Now that you got that text or phone call telling you that a  REALTOR wants to show your house….what do you do? 

Pack up the kids (and the dogs) and head to the park or a friend’s house, or take a walk around the neighborhood.  If you don’t have pets, you might also try the library, grocery store, or  shopping mall.  The key is  finding somewhere to go that’s free.  However, you might decide to go get an ice cream or other snack.

Showings are usually scheduled within a 1 or 2 hour window.  The agent & potential buyer could show up at your house anytime during that window.  You can request a 1-hour limit – just let your agent know up front when you list the house. 


Getting it sold!
As you prepare your home for sale, and keep it clean and tidy for showings, you will find that a home buyer will fall in love with your home and send you an offer.  Work with your REALTOR to help negotiate the terms and get your home sold.


If you want more information, check out our blog posts about moving when you have kids, or our packing and moving tips.


About the author:


Melissa Hailey is the Broker-Owner of North Texas Top Team, REALTORS in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  Our Team helps home buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants move across North Texas and we connect clients to other great REALTORS across the country.  She is a real estate instructor and coach who loves to see others succeed.  She is a serial volunteer helping others in her community and in her industry.  Connect with her at