For The Home Personal

Home Buying and Selling with Toddlers tips from my experience listing our first home

It’s official, we’re on the market.

After 4 years, an engagement, 1 wedding, and 2 little babes, we’ve listed our first home for sale. These four little brick walls hosted countless family dinners, birthday parties, movie nights, play dates, and more. We’ve painted, fixed, decorated, and poured our hearts into turning this house into a home. And while it’s still hard to believe we’re ready to make a move to something a little bigger, we put our house up for sale last weekend. So starts the process of home buying and selling with toddlers.

It probably shouldn’t have been such an emotional decision. Even though going into the purchase initially, we knew this was only a temporary house – that it wouldn’t be our FOREVER home (not that I’m sure any home really ever is). But for some reason, signing those listing papers really hit me harder than I expected it too. However, I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s for the better!

our little house 🙂

Why now?

I’m not sure that there’s ever a perfect time to move – but the boys are young enough to not have to worry about changing schools, and since we’re not necessarily in a RUSH we don’t have to compromise too much on what we’re looking for. Hopefully, we can find something close to where we are now with a little more square footage and open floor plan. 

So as with anything else, this time has been quite a learning experience. Here’s a few takeaways from what we’ve done so far. 

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Declutter

This was probably the hardest part of getting ready to list. I had to go through EVERYTHING and get rid of a ton. To help, I read some of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and used the bag challenge. I’ve probably ditched about 5 bags of toys alone, not to mention tons of clothes and old housewares we just weren’t using. 

The best part about decluttering is the more you part with, the more you’re inclined to reconsider future purchases. I think this is the greatest benefit of getting rid of all of the old junk I’ve had around. Not only am I noticing drawers closing easier and things having their place, I’m also not tempted to replace tchotchkes. (Down side being my recent Target trips are rather dull.)  

Pick a great realtor 

We’ve been throwing around the idea of moving for quite awhile now. Our realtor for the first go around (first time home-buyers) was awesome, and we knew we’d definitely use him again. Some of the qualities I think are important in the realtor department are professionalism, attention to detail, and experience

You’re putting a lot of money on the line, so it’s really important that the person representing you in these transactions knows what they’re doing. This includes familiarity with the buying and selling process, and attention to detail with contracting. 

Keep up with the cleaning 

Super challenging with an infant and toddler. I swear I spend 90% of my day cleaning up things I’ve already cleaned that morning. To try to minimize the amount I’ll need to do before showing the house, I find that it’s a lot easier to keep things clean throughout the week. 

This means getting in the habit of:

  1. Keeping all toys away at the end of the day
  2. Deep cleaning the kitchen/bathroom weekly
  3. Making our bed everyday
  4. Limiting unnecessary purchases and clutter

I’ve also found the tips from Clean My Space super helpful in maintaining a clean house (not just tidy) throughout the week. You can read my review on that book here

Quick Fixes Before Showings

The night/morning before a showing is really when I kick things into high gear. My checklist before an actual showing:

  1. Open all blinds/curtains to maximize natural light
  2. Empty kitchen sink and drying rack
  3. All toys stowed in toy boxes
  4. Blankets, throws, etc. all stashed in living room ottoman
  5. Kitchen counter clutter hidden in cabinets (so our everyday stuff is away for the showing)
  6. All laundry taken out of bedrooms
  7. Quick dust of all visible surfaces in the main areas
  8. Remove any clutter/magnets/pictures from refrigerator door
  9. Vacuum carpets and clean hardwood with Hoover Floormate
  10. Lower temperature a couple degrees, or crack a window (don’t want the house feeling too stuffy)

Getting two kids out of the house and getting the house clean has proven to be quite a challenge. It’s obvious we’re still living in this house, so I don’t try to go too overboard in pretending we don’t. However, since our house is on the smaller side, I definitely try to reduce clutter as much as possible. It’s been easiest if I tackle as much as I can the night before, keep the mess to a minimum through the morning, and load everyone into the car and then do a quick final walk-through before leaving the house. 


All in all, it’s been an interesting time listing our house. While I’m really sad at the thought of us leaving, I’m also anxious with the uncertainty of it. We haven’t quite nailed down exactly where we’d go from here (regional, but not sure of exact city yet) – so I’m keeping an open mind and approaching this all with cautious optimism. 

Any tips for moving with two kids? Or the buying/selling process? Please share below!

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1 Comment

  • Reply K. Elizabeth @ YUMMommy July 26, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Best of luck to you guys as you work on selling your current home and finding a new one. We just moved into our new home and I think the biggest thing for me was just being patient. Also, it helps to have an idea of what your must-haves and deal breakers are.

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