Tips for Selling Your Home When You Have Kids & Pets

Tip #1: Make it look like you don’t have them!

All jokes aside, making it seem like your home is a pet & child-free place can make a huge difference to buyers. Pets and kids tend to cause damage to our homes from accidents and general wear & tear. As parents (to humans & animals), we tend to overlook their downfalls because we love them so much, but unfortunately, buyers don’t have that special bond with your family; they see and smell everything for what it is. 

It’s already a complicated process when you’re selling your home, but it gets a lot more difficult when you factor in your pets and kids. 

Here are some of our tips for getting your property market-ready when it’s home to kids & pets!

1. Fix The Damage.

This should be your very first step when thinking of listing your home.

It’s very likely that your home has some natural wear & tear happening, add kids & pets to the mix, and there are definitely going to be some things that need to be fixed.

Damage from pets & kids typically occurs on floors & walls.

If you have hardwood floors, check for scratches or lifting where your pet frequently walks or where they may have had a few accidents. If you find damage here, you can revarnish your existing flooring or opt for new flooring altogether.

If you have carpeted floors, check for stains or general wear. Carpets can be the number one clue that pets live in a home. If you have carpeted floors, replace the old carpet with a new carpet or hard surface flooring. If that’s not possible, hire a professional carpet cleaner to do a deep cleaning.

While pets are usually the #1 culprit for floor damage, wall damage is usually kid territory. Where there are crayon marks, dirty little fingerprints, or actual drywall damage, usually there’s a kid not too far away.

The good news is these issues are typically quick & easy to fix! Fingerprints can be washed away (make sure to get doors & door frames too), crayon can be painted over, and holes can be patched with a bit of spackle. 

2. Freshen Up Your Yard!

If you’re selling your home this Spring or Summer, you’re likely already looking to do some maintenance & clean up before listing your home, but when you have kids & pets, there are a few additional things to look out for.

If your backyard is filled with …land mines, clean those up before any viewings or open houses. You don’t want it to look like you don’t clean up after your pet, as it will give buyers the impression that you don’t take care of your property.

If you have a digger (kid or pet, we don’t judge), make sure you fill those holes & seed your lawn to grow fresh grass. No one likes to look at a patchy lawn, so filling in any spots that need love will make your yard look more appealing. 

If you have toys or items scattered around, just clean those up as best you can! A clutter-free area outside is also ideal for buyers who are looking to envision themselves in your home.

3. Declutter everything.

As mentioned above, clutter can be overwhelming for buyers. We know that clutter is inevitable when you have kids, but there are some things you can do to reduce it.

Start packing early if you’ve already planned your move to a new home. Taking out items that aren’t needed for everyday use can be a great way to make your home look more spacious. Think of putting away winter items and clothing or things you know you won’t use before moving. 

When we stage a home, we typically remove most items from kitchen & bathroom countertops, so the buyer’s eye isn’t drawn to those items. Try tucking things away in cabinets or storage bins.

Kids’ rooms can be a beast to tackle & are almost impossible to keep clean. If your kids are older and can help with the maintenance, get them in the habit of making their bed & tidying their room regularly. If you have younger children, try to discreetly take away some of their toys that cause the most clutter, so you have less to do when setting up for viewings.

4. Enforce Scheduled Viewings.

You’re likely already juggling a lot if you have pets and kids. 

Your realtor should speak with you about how you’d like the property shown, and you can choose to have scheduled viewings only. This way, you will get plenty of notice before people come to view your home.

Also, keep in mind that technology can be your friend. You can choose to have a virtual tour filmed and professional photos taken to reduce the number of in-person viewings needed.

Take all pets out of the home during any viewings or filming/photography sessions.

If you plan on having an open house, make sure that you have a place for your kids & pets to be during that time.

Selling your home can be stressful; add in kids & pets, and you’re guaranteed to run into some issues. By following these tips, we hope you avoid some of the stress that can come along with this process.

Remember that your realtor should guide you through this process and provide tips to you that are specific to you and your home. If you’re currently living in Ottawa and looking to sell your home, contact us! Our team would love to help you.