April 14th, 2023 | Selling

How to Sell Your Ottawa Home When You Have Kids or Pets

No matter the circumstances, selling your home is always a challenging project. There are a lot of moving parts, with extensive preparations to make your house as appealing as possible to potential buyers. Your work doesn’t end when the cleaning, renovating, and staging are done. 

In many ways, you’re just getting started. It’s time to bring your listing to the market and start showing it to interested buyers. In the meantime, you still have to live in your home. Keeping your space immaculate is tricky enough when it’s just adults, but add children or pets to the mix, and you’ve got your work cut out for you. 

How can you conclude a successful transaction with your sanity and peace of mind intact? The following tips will help.

The Challenges of Selling With Pets

Out of sight, out of mind is the best pet policy when showing a home to a potential buyer. When a buyer comes to visit, the best place for your pet to be is anywhere else, either in a kennel or with a trusted friend.  It’s critical to remember that not everyone loves your furry friends as much as you do. Potential buyers may not appreciate being licked or jumped on as a greeting. In the worst-case scenario, they may even be afraid of animals. For everyone’s peace of mind, it’s best to confine your four-legged friend to a safe place during the showing.

The second best thing you can do is to erase as many visible signs of your pet as possible, especially from the main areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. This means no food dishes, pet toys or scratching posts in plain sight. Above all, absolutely no litter boxes or training pads lying around for a potential buyer to accidentally kick or step in! This doesn’t mean you have to put these items out of the house completely. However, relegating your pet’s belongings to the basement or laundry room will help a buyer imagine your home as their own.

Once your home is ready, maintaining it becomes much easier. Here are some more tips to help your home stand out:

The Challenges of Selling With Children

Rambunctious youngsters can be another challenge when trying to sell your home. Some people may find signs of children in the home endearing. However, the Ottawa real estate market often attracts young professionals and downsizers to the area. Some of these buyers can be turned off by the sight of scattered toys, and noise is often a distraction. What can you do?

Keeping attractive storage boxes around can make last-minute cleanups easier. If your children are old enough to help, you can make a game of “tidy-up” before your buyer arrives. 

Scheduling as many showings as possible during school hours is ideal so people can view your home in peace and quiet. During weekends or evenings, it’s a good idea to see if there are any extra-curricular activities your child can engage in when buyers are walking through.

Perfection Is Not Required

Setting realistic expectations can make the process far less stressful when selling your home. Keep in mind that the only time your home must be completely immaculate is up until the photography session. High-quality images and videos are imperative for marketing your listing online and off. Once that part of the process is complete, a mindset of “good enough is good enough” will help to reduce your stress.

During home showings, your home should be as clean and tidy as possible. But perfection may simply not be attainable when kids and pets are in the house. Getting stressed will not help you achieve a better result and may cause a ripple effect throughout your household. At this point, you’ve already performed a deep clean and declutter of your entire home. From now on, you should just need to attend to the minor details to maintain the effect. 

Creating an achievable routine while your home is on the market will go much further than stressing about perfection. When everyone knows what’s expected, each showing will go more smoothly. Here is a checklist that will help you impress potential buyers every time.

Daily Maintenance Checklist

  • Walk through the home and make sure all floors are free of toys and clothing. Those attractive storage boxes will make it fast and easy to keep unnecessary items out of sight.
  • Clear all countertops, tables, and dressers of clutter. Small appliances you don’t use every day should be tucked away in the cupboards.
  • Check each bedroom and be sure that the floors are clear and the beds are made.
  • Wipe down all kitchen and bathroom counters and mirrors and put all toiletries away. 
  • Make sure all toilets are clean and the lids are closed.
  • Vacuum and wash the floors.
  • Open the curtains to let in as much natural light as possible.

When everyone chips in, you will be surprised at how quickly you can get your home in tip-top shape before a potential buyer arrives. Now is a great time to take your family out to a park or to visit a friend or relative while your listing agent handles the showing.

What is happening in the Ottawa real estate market? Find out more in the posts below:

Coping With the Change

Even if your whole family is excited about moving, the process can still be stressful. It’s normal for everyone to feel a little on edge. And the change itself can be emotional. The longer you live in a home, the more it feels like saying goodbye to an old friend. Children can be even more anxious, especially when leaving the only home they can remember. How can you help them cope with this change?

  • Encourage them to talk about how they feel. Let them know that it’s okay to be sad, but those feelings will not last forever. 
  • Involve them in the process as much as you can. Children can sense when something is up, and keeping them in the loop will help them feel less anxious.
  • Talk about the exciting features and amenities they have to look forward to in their new city or neighbourhood. If possible, you can even visit a restaurant or park near your home to help ease their transition.

Moving with kids or pets can be challenging. But at the Chell Team, we are ready for anything, and can help you navigate a successful sale in the current market. Contact us today at 613.829.7484 or email mail@chellteam.com for more information.