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It’s the start of the summer holidays, so we thought it would be a good idea to look at some tips to keep your house ‘viewing ready’ when you have kids around, and how best to prepare your home for property photos.
There are some general rules that everyone can follow when preparing their home for photography or a viewing, but this post is aimed at those with children. Those poor souls who’s children’s belonging may have taken over the whole house and the thought of trying to portray a ‘comfortable, adult living environment’ to potential buyers, seems as tricky as the Brexit negotiations.
Firstly – De-clutter
Don’t wait until you’re moving to start to thin out those toys, when the kids are in bed get out that black sack and be ruthless! The less mess you have to keep on top of the better. There are so many charities and children’s centre’s that you can donate old toys to. A word of warning, DO NOT make the mistake of letting your kids find the sack. If they stumble across this huge bag of goodies, suddenly every broken toy, unloved teddy, snapped crayon will become one of their all time favourite objects. So this is a job that must be done covertly.
We are easily distracted, if you have taken the time to prepare your kitchen for photography or a viewing, then don’t forget about that little gallery wall that we like to call ‘The Fridge Door’. It’s the perfect spot for those first master pieces, but a busy fridge door can subtly pull the eye away from what a potential buyer is actually looking at. You want them to remember the kitchen, not the brutally honest portrait your child drew, depicting your large tummy and hairy legs.
Sort and hide!
If you have space in cupboards, under beds or sofas for storage boxes, then these little hideaway spots can become your allies when selling your home. They offer a fast solution for those last minute viewings. No one need know that moments before the viewing your living room was a minefield of toys. Or you may have a spare room, garage or loft, that you could temporarily store most of the toys in. One room with some ‘organised mess’ in is better than an abundance of rooms littered with toys.
If your children can cope without some of their play equipment while trying to sell, then it may be a good idea to put these into storage. Nowadays garden toys seem to be oversized and bright, fun for families, but a bit of an eyesore. So, get sweet talking that kind relative with the extra space in their garden. Hold back one or two for those viewings when you have nowhere else but the garden to escape to.
Now that your home is ready, what’s the best way to manage the viewings when the kids are around? We asked Luke Parle from Portico what he would advise sellers during school breaks.
“Now this depends on the market at the time. In a sellers’ market (high demand, low supply) I’d suggest viewings on one day, the sellers can then tidy and get out themselves and their children out of the way for the day, leaving the agent to sell the house hassle free. In a buyers’ market (low demand, high supply – which we’re in now), if you don’t accommodate viewings when requested, you run the risk of losing the interest and delaying the whole sale process. So with this in mind, I’d set my clients expectations out from the beginning and explain if they want to sell, they’ll have to accommodate daily viewings, but maybe suggest we have one or two days viewing free. I’d also suggest sellers take their children out for the duration of the viewing, even if they haven’t had a chance to tidy up toys. As painful as it is, distracting children are far worse than stepping on Lego bricks! Potential buyers immediately feel their intruding when sellers are home and the feeling is heightened when children are at home.”
Selling your home is never going to be easy with kids, so to ensure your home is off the market as quickly as possible it really is worth making sure your home looks the best it can for the property photography and allow your estate agent the freedom to do viewings when they need to. So plan those days out, and for the unexpected viewings have a bag ready for the kids, with a fully charged ipad, some drawing books or travel games. Head to a park or wait it out in a coffee shop and dream of your new home, knowing it will all be worth it in the end!
CP Creative Ltd
Forge & Co
I54 – 158 Shoreditch High St
Phone: 0203 637 1440