5 Things Busy Parents Can’t Skip When Prepping for a Home Sale

Busy parents don’t have time for elaborate staging schemes to get ready to sell. No, we need quick strategies for whipping the house into shape while kids and clutter are underfoot. So, here are ways that even the most overbooked parent can prep — without spending a ton of time.

Start with an Open House Checklist

Part of selling your home is keeping the clutter down for better sales odds (and pricing), explains the Nest. Prospective buyers want to see the features in real life, which means a revolving door of showings and open houses. While you can probably pass on traditional open houses with no issues, real estate agents will need to offer private showings regardless.

An open house checklist offers a rundown of must-dos before potential buyers arrive, whether for a scheduled open house or drop-ins. For example, you’ll want to light a candle (or five) to cover up last night’s dinner odors, put the dog in the yard, secure your valuables, and open the blinds to make the home more welcoming.

Pare Down Your Stuff to the Essentials

You may have heard organizational experts tout the benefits of fewer toys for kids. And yes, keeping clutter down each day is beneficial for parents, too. However, it doesn’t take a whole house cleansing to cut down on toys and other kids’ items lying around on the floor.

Since you’re preparing to move anyway, think about boxing up belongings in advance. You can create a showroom-like home by keeping the essentials in your children’s rooms and putting away everything else. In fact, now is the perfect time to try out a capsule wardrobe for everyone in the family. After all, prospective buyers might take a glimpse at your house’s closets — and anywhere else they’re curious about.

Tackle Small Projects as You Have Time

Selling a home can be daunting because it seems like there are always projects to get done. Hopefully, you don’t need to overhaul the home’s interior with new flooring, paint, or other big tasks to boost value. But you probably have a list of small to-do items to take care of. Aim to break down each task into small increments, and then incorporate those into your day.

For example, you might want to switch out lightbulbs for better ambiance when buyers come by. To make the task easier, keep a list of all the fixtures that need replacing and tackle them one by one as you take care of other responsibilities in those rooms.

Assign the Kids Small Tasks

While bribery can only get parents so far when it comes to kids cooperating, this might be a scenario in which it’s justified. Of course, letting your kids know what the expectations are ahead of time can help. You can assign the kids small tasks for open house days or impromptu showings, such as opening a window or tossing all their toys into their toy box.

Making quick cleanup into a game can also help — racing while you vacuum the living room and they vacuum the stairs, for example, can be fun and effective. Having a list of fun things to do when the real estate agent gives you a five-minute warning to vacate the house may help, too.

Focus on Ambiance Above All

There may be days when your home is not quite spotless when prospective buyers show up. But by concentrating on the overall ambiance of the home, you might be able to impress them regardless. Lighting and smells go a long way toward creating a cozy atmosphere. Opening the blinds, cracking a window, and letting a mildly scented candle burn for a few minutes can do wonders for making your house feel fresh and clean (and eliminating lingering pet odors).


There might not be a way around feeling frazzled when it comes time to sell your home. But by taking a few preparatory steps, busy parents can increase the odds that the property will show in a favorable light. And the extra bit of effort might pay off in the form of a quick sale.

Photo via Rawpixel

Guest Blogger Kristin L. (Thank you!)

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