05. Mom Squad
The morning is starting early for you today. Just as you get up and look at your phone, Showtime is notifying you of a showing request for today at 10:00 am. What? The kids aren’t even out of bed! It is the first weekend your house is on the market! You cleaned and had everything ready for pictures three days ago, but life happened between then and now. Dinner dishes are still in the sink from the night before. The dog needs let out and fed. Your kids reliably pace themselves with snails through their entire morning routine. How will you confirm the showing, get everyone ready for the day, aaaaand get the house ready for its “One Shining Moment”?
You are not alone. Welcome to the “Mom Squad.” If you have children and are selling your home, you know your minivan can hold a lot more than the 8 passengers for which it was originally intended! At The Noll Team, we’ve helped hundreds of mom just like you get their homes ready to sell and strategize for showing days. You can do this!
Top Five List for Managing Showings with Kids:
Before listing your home, pack up your closets. This not only helps make less “stuff” available for the children to scatter about the floor but also exposes baseboards and creates a sense of space and organization throughout your home and in your closets. This is also a good time to color code boxes packed in each of your children’s rooms with duct tape. When you move into your new house, put the corresponding color of duct tape on the door of each child's room so movers quickly know where to deliver the boxes.
As you prepare for your first showing, designate one bin of toys per child for them to continue to play with throughout the showing process. Encourage responsibility by assigning each child the task of picking up his own toys before each showing. All other toys can be organized in the attic, garage or storage to be re-introduced after the move. Your children will develop a new appreciation for old toys, and you will keep your sanity!
Just before each showing, utilize television for its baby-sitting skills, and allow the children to watch their favorite show in the living room while you prep. Or, put the kids in the car (In seatbelts! With the car on! And the garage door open! Safety first!) with a few books while you do your last-minute vacuum and run through. During these last five precious minutes, file papers from school in the circular file, wipe crumbs from the counter, straighten up beds, and lastly, pick up miscellaneous debris that magically appeared on your otherwise organized counter.
During your first week of showings, cut yourself some slack, and go out to dinner at a kid-friendly restaurant. Suggestions include McCallister’s, Tucanos, which happens to be our kids’ first request, Red Robin, O’Charleys, Chick-Fil-A, complete with a play gym, or every child’s favorite, Zesto! Chances are, you will have multiple showings during dinner time. Keeping meals out of the kitchen prevents unwanted aromas from permeating your home. Alternatively, if you want intentional scents to welcome guests “home,” throw a roast or chicken in your slow cooker, or bake some fresh cookies or bread. You can purchase premade cookie dough to quickly make some delicious treats to sweeten up your guests. The price they offer for your home may even reflect your generosity!
Lastly, make a list of fun activities to do as a family during showings. Here are a few ideas to get you started: Visit a park, the zoo, Skyzone, Science Central, or even a friend! Find a local sport to participate in like golf, bowling, or walking the Fort Wayne trails. For a longer adventure, consider a Tin Caps game, a movie, or a tour of DeBrand Chocolates. With the kids, create memories at a painting funspot, Yo Yo Yogurt, a playground, or Mocha Lounge.