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Please tell me how to sell a house that's inhabited by 3 small, messy children!

(37 Posts)
Celery Fri 29-Jun-07 12:22:46

We need to move, there are 5 of us - two adults, 3 small children - living in a small 3 bed semi. It's cluttered, it's a bit grubby and battered - finger prints and pen marks on the walls etc - and the children create mess faster than I can clear it up. Please tell me how I can sell my house whilst it's still being inhabited by us!

TheWiltedRose Fri 29-Jun-07 12:24:18

cant u get a parent to have them for a weekend where u can give the house a good springclean and coat of paint whilst making sure people can veiw it?

Celery Fri 29-Jun-07 12:25:21

oh yeah, that's the other thing - no readily available babysitters!

Ladymuck Fri 29-Jun-07 12:25:57

You have to put stuff into storage. Thanks to the modern era of house programs everyone rates a decluttered house more highly than a lived in one. If you RE MOVING ANYWAY THEN START PACKING AND PUT WINTER CLOTHES, AT LEAST HALF THE TOYS ETC INTO BOXES NOW AND DOWN TO YOUR LOCAL STORAGE PLACE.

TheWiltedRose Fri 29-Jun-07 12:27:34

yup! failin that...get the kids to help mummy do the house up they would have fun i think if u make it into a game...failing that..put them all in cages

hatwoman Fri 29-Jun-07 12:29:22

also can you do that open house day thing - where you get as many viewers through the door all on the same day (when the kids are out for the day...)

Wisteria Fri 29-Jun-07 12:32:35

get some old tights, put the children into the legs, tie a knot in the top and hide them in the wardrobe, telling them they're caterpillar and have to wait until they're beautiful butterflies before they can come out

If financially viable go away for the weekend and get cleaners and decorators in if no babysitters available? - clean bright woodwork does it for me and a nice front door!
Good luck x

Celery Fri 29-Jun-07 12:37:01

Oh, storage - I hadn't thought of that, great idea, thanks!

I think a weekend away whilst the decorators are in is just about viable - well, to be honest, I don't think we have any other choice!

Eldest is in school and no. 2 in preschool, so I was thinking of putting the baby in with a childminder to give me more time to clean and have viewings.

A curse on all these home improvement and property programmes - they give people false expectations!

Speccy Fri 29-Jun-07 12:37:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheWiltedRose Fri 29-Jun-07 12:39:42

lmao at speccy

Celery Fri 29-Jun-07 12:40:09

Also, we have grubby carpet - do you think it would be worth ripping it out and putting down laminate ( obviously don't want to spend a fortune on a nice wood floor )

Wisteria Fri 29-Jun-07 12:41:53

It might end up cheaper getting the pros in anyway - did for us but we're crap at decorating as dp is perfectionist and it takes him 3million hours to do one job
My decorator charges £80 per day and did our entire hall stairs and landing in 2 days, perfectly (and it is not small)....
Dc's will probably enjoy putting some of their own toys into storage if they can decorate the boxes etc

Wisteria Fri 29-Jun-07 12:43:58

Always worth putting new flooring down although I would look at cost of carpet vs laminate first. Not everyone likes laminate and new carpets always go down well, making the whole place look brighter.

morethanmum Fri 29-Jun-07 12:44:10

My top tip is to start packing now. Buy some big plastic boxes, label them up, and start packing up the clutter ready for when you move. Do you need all the crockery/ornaments etc for the next few months. Leave out one or two nice framed photos, one or two pictures on the fridge etc. We bought boxes for each child and they put special stuff into it, and unplayed with toys went in the charity bag. Bribe - one charity bag = one shiny new toy.

TinyGang Fri 29-Jun-07 12:46:57

Well you get 3 large cardboard boxes. Punch in some airholes and put some straw in the bottom and some colouring books....

Actually we are in exactly the same situation without (although I pray it'll be soon) the prospect of moving atm. I was wondering the same thing the other day.

OrmIrian Fri 29-Jun-07 12:48:04

celery - I don't know. Short of chucking moneu (in the form of decorators and contract cleaners) at it. We are the same as you - everything grubby and battered. You cope with it when you're living in it but other eyes aren't going to see it like you do.

I'm simply not intending to move until someomne leaves us a fortune and we can afford to sell it for a song, grime and all. ie never!

Celery Fri 29-Jun-07 12:50:58

Thank you everyone, this is a really useful thread. We have to move, middle schools in this area mean catchment areas have become a priority a lot sooner than if it was a two tier school system.

Feebs22 Fri 29-Jun-07 14:10:23

I work in an Estate Agents and I have to say the average house we take on the books is nowhere near the standard you see on these property make-overs. We have ones with dodgy carpets, bright colours, green bathroom suites etc but they all sell if they are priced right!

Be realistic would be my advice - you are never going to achieve that streamlined immaculate look you get on the telly with 3 small kids but the good news is that having a good estate agent eg. one with good central office location, user friendly website, linked to Rightmove and most importantly one that puts a realistic price on your property will do more to sell it for you than a fresh coat of paint.

Things I would do though are de-clutter putting as much as possible into storage, remove unneccessary furniture too to make rooms seem bigger, wash down paintwork, steam clean carpets and/or put down a few neutral rugs to cover poor areas. Good luck!

puddle Fri 29-Jun-07 14:12:46

People I know who have sold houses with small children have stashed stuff in the car while they had viewings - they got a few storage boxes and did a mad dash round to pick up toys/ clutter.

ShrinkingViolet Fri 29-Jun-07 14:14:06

opinions on battered (i.e dirty cream with dark brown chipped off splodges from where previosu people painted over varnish) - worthwhile slapping a coat or two of gloss on the top, or leaving it as it is?
Obviously if we're staying here, i'd do it properly, but there's a LOT of woodwork.....

ShrinkingViolet Fri 29-Jun-07 14:15:55

when we moved last time, I had a van load of stuff stored in the back of a friend's office building simply in order to create some space. And bribed DCs to play nicely in the wendy house, or called in playing at friends houses favours for actual viewing.

Celery Fri 29-Jun-07 14:20:07

We do have a garage, so if we decluttered and stored it all in boxes in the garage, that wouldn't put people off, would it?

Feebs22, thank you! So, probably just a lick of paint and a carpet clean would do. I've stopped hyperventilating with panic now.

glitterball Sat 30-Jun-07 09:58:32

Agree entirely that half the houses for sale are nowhere near the standard of those on makeover programmes so don't panic. I would say all you need to do is get rid of as much stuff as you can into storage/garage/loft/nearest cupboard - and once its packed away theres less stuff to tidy away! - clean the visible areas and touch up paintwork if you can - if not give it a good wipe down!

thinking about it as long as the downstairs rooms are tidy and clean, toys all over kids rooms would never have bothered me when i was viewing houses - in fact i thought it was nice to see stuff being played with rather than lined up like a show home/toyshop.

good luck anyway!

LIZS Sat 30-Jun-07 10:05:56

Touch up any obvious paintwork/cracks but most people don't look that closely, it is more an overall impression. Try to ensure that table tops/surfaces are clear or well presented and that as the viewer enters a room their eye is drawn most advantageously ie towards the window onto the garden or fireplace, with minimal furnitre and clutter to obscure. Keep the kids clutter in plastic boxes or baskets and stack behind the door or sofa so least in the way and line of view.Tidy curtains back and clean windows to let most light in.

Mirage Sat 30-Jun-07 20:52:57

My friend is in your situation.She says that she hasn't worried too much about toys,as it is a family house & therefore viewers are likely to have small children too.In fact,she says that having the children/toys around during viewings seems to make people more relaxed.

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