How to Stage Your Home When You Have Small Kids

Any home seller will tell you that keeping your home neat and pleasantly staged for potential buyers is the worst part of selling a home. It takes a lot of effort to minimize your personal belongings, and keeping your home ready to view at a moment’s notice can be exhausting. If you have children, trying to stage your home can seem next to impossible, but it’s a necessary evil if you want to maximize the resale value of your home. Here are our top tips for staging your home when you have small kids.

Make Inexpensive Cosmetic Updates

If you are planning to sell your home, it’s a good idea to perform several cosmetic updates to make it stand out in the hot Toronto real estate market.

If you have small children, odds are there is at least one room in your home you’ve painted a bright colour, which won’t appeal to buyers. Hope Designs home stager Lori Howard suggests giving the entire home a new coat of paint, “light grays are very trendy right now and will give the home a modern and updated feel.” She also recommends removing curtains to let in as much natural light as possible, updating your light fixtures, and buying fresh bedding for the master bedroom.

Declutter, Declutter, Declutter!

Before you even list your home on the market, you should start decluttering. Clutter masks the good features of the property and prevents the buyer from visualizing how they would use your space. Start by removing your children’s artwork from the refrigerator and walls. Tidy up your mudroom to minimize the presence of backpacks and boots, and designate several attractive bins to hold toys and books.

Remove Bulky Items

Children and their stuff take up a lot of space. Whether it’s their large toys like plastic kitchens and playhouses, or their high chairs and changing tables, the accouterments of parenthood will be the first thing a potential buyer sees when they walk into your home.

To make your space appealing to all buyers, remove all bulky items and store them in your storage locker or a rental storage unit. Freeing up this valuable square footage will make your home seem more spacious to potential buyers.

Reclaim Spaces for Adults

Be sure to stage rooms to show off their function.

If you have children and space is at a premium, you may have converted underutilized rooms for your children’s use. For example, that formal dining room you never use may have become a playroom for your kids. While this is an excellent way to maximize your square footage, potential buyers will have a hard time imagining your formal dining room as an entertaining space.

To bring an adult vibe back to these spaces, you’ll need to reclaim them for their original purpose. Dining rooms should have a dining table and be staged for a dinner party. Your office should look like an office, with a desk and chair, and your master bathroom should have an oasis-like feel.

By returning these rooms to their original purpose, you turn your home into a blank canvas that potential buyers can use to envision themselves living there.

Designate Children’s Zones

Be sure to show off how a home can be kid-friendly, too.

Most of this article focuses on minimizing the presence of children in your home, but there are several cases where showing off how kid-friendly your home is can be a great selling point. If your home has multiple bedrooms or a recreation room in the basement, these rooms can and should be staged with kids in mind.

Stage your extra bedroom as a child’s room, or set up the recreation room with board games and a painting station. If you have a great backyard, build a playhouse or a swing set in the corner. If your potential buyers are a young family, these small touches will appeal to them.

It can be a challenge to stage your home when you have children, but putting the time and effort in will ensure you maximize your home’s resale value and minimize the amount of time your home spends on the market.

About Jordann Brown

Jordann Brown is a freelance content marketer and owner of the popular personal finance blog My Alternate Life. She has been featured in major publications and by news outlets including CTV News, the Globe and Mail, Moneysense and the Huffington Post. You can follow Jordann on Twitter at @myalternateblog.

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