Love them or hate them, inspections are part and parcel of selling a home.
The aim of an inspection is to allow buyers to visualise how they would live in your property and this usually means showing it at its very best. This is easy when you have an open house once or twice and can give it a good buff and polish the day before but doing it on a regular basis, just in case the real estate calls, can be pure torture. Add children to the mix and you can times it by 100.
Often you are given little time to clean up prior to an inspection so it pays to be organised. With a little preparation, you can have your house looking spick and span in a matter of minutes. Here’s how:
1. Tidy up every day
“Get a spare washing basket and each night walk around the home collecting all the clutter that has accumulated as part of everyday living with children such as school shoes, school notes, left out toys, etc,” says Naomi Findlay of Silk Home Staging and Styling.
“Before bedtime or before everyone leaves the house in the morning, work together to empty the basket. Doing this means you will always be ready for an impromptu home inspection. At worst you can throw the basket into the car with you when you leave before the inspection.”
2. Organise your children’s toys
Refusing to let your child play with their toys is one way of keeping your house clean, but certainly not a nice thing to do. The easiest way for children to keep their toys tidy is to spend some time organising them. Donate or throw away toys your child no longer uses. Next, organise the remaining toys into crates, placing similar items together. This way your child knows exactly where to place the toys when they have finished playing with them.
3. Get the family involved
You’re all moving house so why not get the children involved. Have an emergency cleaning kit handy and delegate jobs to the children. Even children as young as three are happy to get involved with simple tasks such as tidying up their own toys or dusting the furniture.
4. Look outside
When you are busy focusing on the house, it’s easy to forget the back yard. Make sure all bikes, scooters and other outside toys are put away or neatly placed in a corner. This will also make your backyard look bigger to potential buyers.
Once you’ve done a quick tidy of the house, it’s important to occupy the children so they aren’t running around and disturbing potential buyers. Take them for a walk if possible and engage them in a quiet game.
Remember, moving can be a very stressful experience for children so don’t forget to communicate with them about what is happening.