The two most difficult obstacles to overcome when staging an occupied home are...
1: The kids: Why isn't it as fun to put something back as it is to take it out...does it get heavier? What's the big deal about picking up after yourself? We all get sick of saying "Clean your room right now!" and we would drop dead in the doorway if the room was actually clean when we go check on them.
Most of us are parents and we know how hard it is to get kids to do something they don't want to do. But the bottom line is... there is no reward in putting something back. So how can we suggest to home sellers to keep their homes spotless for sometimes months if we cannot even get our kids to put their clean and folded laundry away in the right drawer? Children are not the big supporters for a move anyway, so the resistance to cooperate is even stronger than before, but as in all training techniques there has to be something in it for them.
Here is the trick...bribe them with real profit sharing from the sale of the house! (I received a killer back massage last night from my granddaughter for $5) Do the math for them and show them how much money can actually be made when the house is kept clean, tidy, and staged.
Money talks! Let's say the house is staged for $1,500 and the asking price for the house is $300,000. The first price reduction could be as much as 5% so lets say that adds up to $15,000. The chances of a house selling in the first 30 days are slim and none these days without staging. Keeping the house up with children is next to impossible unless there is something in it for them.
Back to the math: Assuming the selling family has 3 children all school age were to get 10% of the potential profit of $15,000, that would be a whopping $1,500. That is a lot of money and it is just being thrown away because they are not willing to keep up the look of the house while it is on the market! (obviously these are guesstimates)
"But what if?" With today's statistics on staged homes selling faster than their non-staged counterparts and for more money that their competition...it is well worth the try. If the house closes in 75 days from the listing date, that comes out to $20 earned every day, per child. That is a lot of money! It can be used or saved for a college fund or down payment on a car, or a clothes shopping spree, or however that child wants to spend it. Anything over the price of the home after the first price reduction can be called profit and that profit...now matter how large or small...10% is earned by each child.
2: Where is it supposed to go? Once the seller has the kids on board the money train...then what? An essential element of merchandising a property is to clear it out so once this is done, the cluttering slows to a minimum because that stuff is gone. This helps tremendously.
Setting up a simple system for clothes, laundry, everyday essentials, toys, personal items, etc., is critical to the success of a successful sale. Putting a basket in each closet for laundry is easy to do. Install some hooks in the closet for quick hangups. Baskets with lids for toys, games, clickers, etc., keeps each room tidy and organized.
If you would like a complimentary Family To Do List, the same one I give to my clients, just enter your email address in the newsletter sign up window under my profile. I will be happy to send it to you. It is a tool that will make family life easier to deal with while the home is on the market and increase the chances of a profitable sale for even the kids.