When preparing children for a move, it’s important to find ways to get them excited about the new house, school and even city they’ll be in after a few months. But don’t overlook the more immediate changes to their lives that begin as soon as you put your home on the market.
Here is what they might be thinking as you begin the home-selling process, and strategies to alleviate your child’s concerns.
1. “Who is this stranger invading our lives?”
Your listing agent will become a frequent presence in your home, and your child may see him or her as the catalyst of all the changes to come. Help form a positive relationship between your kids and your agent by getting everyone together over coffee (hot chocolate for the little ones) or dinner.
2. “Where did my stuff go?”
Staging a home often means prepacking some of a child’s favorite things. Involve kids in packing as much as possible. This gives them an idea of where their toys and clothes have gone rather than fearing they’ve disappeared forever. The personal favorites – a blanket, stuffed animal or even family photos – should be the last to go. It’s easy to store them under the bed during a showing. You can even have your child put them away so he or she will know exactly where they will be when you return from an outing.
3. “Why can’t we go home?”
Vacating a house for a showing can be disruptive to kids’ schedules. Take them somewhere special so they see it as a treat. A movie, the local bookstore or a special restaurant are all good options.
If possible, it may be a good idea to let your child accompany you on a showing so they understand what visitors are doing when you have to leave your house for a couple of hours. You can also ask your agent to set up a “mock” showing of your current home for your children.
RE/MAX agents are well known for their years of experience. An agent will have even more ideas on how to make the process of selling your home a positive experience for your child. Find one here: http://www.remax.com/officeagentsearch.