By Fred Golden
Prudential Douglas Elliman
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Homeowners
with young children face a common challenge when their house is on the market:
How do you keep the home clean and ready for prospective buyers while
maintaining a kid-friendly and safe environment?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Keeping
that â€œstaged lookâ€ as the kids create instant messes can be overwhelming.Â If you are lucky enough that your children
keep their â€œthingsâ€ in their rooms, your primary focus should be the kidsâ€™
bedrooms, according to two home stagers.
bedrooms are often problematic when getting a home ready to sell,â€ said KÃ¼lli
Yee, founder and president of Ilus Design Home Staging and Re-design, Port
Coquitlam, B.C., Canada. â€œThey tend to have more clutter than most rooms in the
form of toys and activities, and out-of-season and hand-me-down clothes and
toys are often stored in the childâ€™s bedroom.â€
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Ye suggests limiting the number of toys
and activities that children play with each week and adding and subtracting as
the kids get bored.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œMost
kids only actively use three or four favorite toys at a time and the rest just
sits there collecting dust,â€ Yee said. â€œPack away extra toys, stuffed animals
and books. Organize the remaining toys neatly in baskets, boxes and bins and
display only a few items on the shelves.â€
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Alice
T. Chan, a Fremont, Calif.-based home stager and author of the book 8 Steps for Creating an Irresistible Market
Ready Home that Sells, recommended keeping a
childâ€™s bedroom floor and closet free of clutter by lightening the load.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œReduce the amount of
items stored in the closets,â€ she said. â€œPack, store or give away anything that
the child doesnâ€™t need for the next two to three months. This is also the perfect time to get
rid of unused or broken toys and old clothes.â€
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â For
those with infants, a nursery should be kept tidy with all extra diapers,
wipes, lotions, baby bottles and clothes hidden away in a dresser. Make sure
that the diaper pail is emptied frequently.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â If
you children expand their activities into the living room, you may be faced
with additional challenges.Â This is NOT
a time to allow clutter to build in other areas of your home. Clutter turns
buyers and agents off.Â Remember, as
agents, we share our listings with other agents.Â We invite them to bring their customers to
see your home.Â If the agents that we
invite get poor feedback from their customers, they will stop bringing them to
see your home.Â Agents do not want to
make excuses to their customers because of the condition of your home.Â Please do not let that happen.
remove any furniture that doesnâ€™t serve a purpose in the nursery. Anything
beyond a crib, dresser, rocking chair, changing table and small accessories should
be packed away. Consider doing the same for the other areas of your home, as
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â If
your kids have their own rooms, consider asking them to share a room for
a couple of months until the home sells. This allows you to set up the other
bedrooms as a guest room or home office, adding extra value to your home.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Unlike
pets, you canâ€™t simply pack up the kids and send them away for weeks at a time.
Remind your children that once your current home sells, the new home will bring
them exciting new adventures. If that doesnâ€™t make them more cooperative in helping
keep the place then thereâ€™s always plan B: bribe them with ice cream, outside!
Fred Golden can be reached at (917) 620-4907.
Â Prudential Douglas Elliman is an
independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates,
Inc., a Prudential company. Equal Housing Opportunity.