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Selling your home when you’ve got kids

kwELITE Real Estate agent Erica Zywiec poses for a photo with her two sons and daughter.

Although moving can be stressful, and even more so when you have young children, kwELITE Columbus Real Estate Agent Erica Zywiec insists it shouldn’t stop you. She should know – she’s done it twice in the last 10 years.

“I did it with a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old while I was pregnant, and then I did it a few years ago with a 7-year-old, 5-year-old and 3-year–old. It’s definitely stressful,” Zywiec recalled, with a laugh. “The main concern is making sure everything looks perfect every single time you leave the house.”

But kids are kids – they make messes, they spill things, they don’t always pick up their toys. Putting your home up for sale and showing it doesn’t have to be so intimidating because of your young children. Parents just need to embrace the fact they’re raising a family while their home is on the market by finding balance rather than sweating what visitors may think.

“You have to realize, and I think buyers completely understand, you’re coming into a home that has children and it may not be spotless,” she said. “You just have to get used to the fact it’s not always going to look perfect every time you walk out the door.”

What did she do when she was trying to sell her homes?

“Shoved things in closets,” Zywiec laughed. “No, I’m kidding – don’t do that. Just make sure when you leave the house you try to have it looking nice as possible. Having it lived in when people are coming and looking is totally normal. You can have toys out – just have them organized out.”

It could actually be a huge advantage to give buyers a sense of what the house could look like realistically with people living in it rather than it being showroom-ready, especially if potential buyers have their own families to think about. 

“It gives people if they’re bringing a family an idea of what it could realistically look like with stuff out if they’re at a home that also has kids,” she said.

Zywiec said sellers have to be flexible with their schedules and be willing to leave the house for showings, encouraging them to consider back-to-back appointments. Keep the family entertained by going out to dinner, for ice cream, or to a park for a bit when it’s warmer outside. Enjoy time with your family, she said.

But, don’t drive yourself crazy with unrealistic cleaning standards. 

“No crumbs on the counter – that’s a big one,” she said. “Make things clean, but a few toys here or there aren’t going to make buyers run for the hills.”

Ready to list your home and find a new one? Call kwELITE Real Estate at 402-563-4663 to speak with Zywiec or any of our realtors.

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