Successful Home Showings 101: Keeping Your Home Clean With Children & Pets

Selling your home is stressful, and if you are living in your home during the entire staging and showing process, things become even more challenging -- especially if you have children and/or pets. For more information about how to keep your house in order and where to list it for showings, talk with an experienced real estate agent. Also, be sure to follow these three tips before potential buyers come by.

Create Main Showing Zones

Creating "clutter-free" zones will help you be ready to show your home at relatively short notice. The master bathroom, kitchen, and living room need to be as clutter-free as possible. Go ahead and pack up extra dishes and items that you rarely use and store them out of sight. Get rid of all but the bare essential hygiene items in the bathroom and keep a cabinet spot cleared in the vanity so you can quickly stash everything away before potential buyers arrive. The main living areas are always going to need quick cleanings, but you can make life easier if everyone takes their "stuff" with them to their rooms when they leave the shared living areas each evening.

Divvy up the Cleaning

Even with good planning, you may have to clean your home every day for showings. However, you do not have to "deep clean" it every time. Try assigning every family member one area to patrol each day. They should quickly dust, vacuum, and pick-up their assigned area. If you can afford it, have a cleaning service come in at least once a week to do a more thorough job. That way, your every moment isn't consumed with scrubbing something that can drive you to distraction early in the process. However, realize that you cannot duck the reality of some daily cleaning.

Consider What to Do with Your Pets

This suggestion may seem harsh, but you'll be better off if you can send your pets away temporarily, hopefully at a farm or other fun boarding facility during periods of frequent showings. Your beloved animals simply make keeping your home clean more difficult by shedding hair, tracking in debris, chewing items, and having accidents. They can also intimidate potential buyers even when they are banished to the backyard. Your lovable collie might become yappy around strangers, meaning they will have a harder time focusing on what they are seeing in your home and what your real estate agent has to say.

You can survive selling your home while living in it. Remember, you do not have to go it alone. Everyone in the family should be contributing to the effort. Stay focused and remember that this situation will not go on forever.