Here are just a few of the questions we've had over the last month. There may have been a few meltdowns and tears too.
- Why do we need to keep the house clean ALL the time?
- Why do we need to leave our house on a moment's notice?
- Why are our schedules and routines changing?
- Why are strangers coming to look at our home?
- What will happen to my things when strangers are here?
- Why can't we be here when people come?
- How long do we need to be gone?
- What will we do when we come home?
After working through strong emotions and questions in our home, I thought it appropriate to share how we've worked through this difficult process. I would love to help other parents who are going through similar situations. Here is our guide on how to prepare your kids when showing your home to sell.
This post contains affiliate links.
8 Tips to Help Prepare Your Kids When Showing a Home to Sell
1. Create a social story that explains the process of showing and selling a home. Read it regularly with your children.
2. Create a picture schedule that explains the step-by-step process of preparing to show your home. This way when you receive a phone call everyone knows what's going on and what responsibilities they have. A to do list for older kids may also be sufficient.
3. Make a plan for when you need to leave your home. In our case we've chosen a fun activity for when it's nice outside and another activity for when it's raining or too cold. You may also want to have a plan B in case those plans fall through. If your home is on the market for an extended period of time, you could even create a jar of popsicle sticks with choices. Whatever you do, just make it fun.
4. Make a plan for meals when you are out. Will you go out to eat? Do you have lunch boxes packed and ready to go? Perhaps you'll just have snacks on hand until you return home? Inevitably showings do happen around meal time. Be prepared and discuss these plans with your kids.
5. Role play what a showing is like. Have kiddos take turns being the realtor and the people looking at the home.
6. Let kiddos pack a backpack or bin with their favorite things to take with them or hide if they are anxious about others touching or taking their special toys.
7. Remove pictures of your family and pack them into a bin in the case that your child is scared of people knowing who she is or has a past history of trauma. This is actually recommended by realtors. It is a great way to protect your children, especially as pictures of your family can show up in pictures that you display of your home online.
8. Make a plan for when you return to your home. This transition can be extremely tricky, especially after having fun, changes in schedule, and realizing that strangers have just been in your home.
We have been through five showings and an open house in just two short weeks. The process of showing a home doesn't get any easier as time goes by. However, the tips we've given above have helped our kids tremendously. They're starting to get used to what's expected of them and what will happen when we're gone. We hope these suggestions help you too.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the post below.