How has your home changed since your children arrived? Are there toys everywhere? Does the nursery have a bright coat of paint? Is there a child-sized toilet in the bathroom? You might love these changes, but home buyers might not be so delighted. When you sell your house, you want to appeal to everyone, even buyers who don’t have kids. This means reigning in the toys, repainting the walls in neutral colors, removing the artwork and magnets from the refrigerator, and making sure the finger prints are gone from the stairwell. Nothing distracts potential buyers from imagining themselves in your home, like an adorable crayon scrawl on the wall.

Give yourself two weeks to get your home in order. After all, with your children working against you, it will take that long. Do the bulk of your packing now. Save a few special toys for your children to enjoy, but pack up the majority of their accessories and store the boxes where buyers won’t see them.

Once your house is clean, it’s time to take photographs. This is the time to move furniture around to make your rooms look tidy and as spacious as possible. Clutter is more obvious in photographs than in person, so make sure your counters, tables, and shelves are clear. Knickknacks, dishes, toiletries, books, food, artwork, and toys will all look like clutter in a photograph, so move it all out of the way until the camera is gone.

It is wise to convert child-centric rooms into something with greater mass appeal. If you have a playroom, consider converting it into a den, or an office. Stash the remaining toys out of the way when you know someone is coming over and the room still won’t look oddly empty.
Your child’s bedroom can be a challenge. After all, you can’t exactly put your infant in a queen-sized bed instead of a crib. You can, however, minimize the childish influence in the room. Consider replacing your changing table with a dresser that will serve the same purpose, but appeal to more buyers. Pack up your custom light switch plates, wall decals, and fan pulls. You’ll use them in your new home, but for now they would work against you. When buyers come over, store the unpacked toys in the closet.

By keeping the rooms in your house clean and neutral, you’ll allow buyers to picture their belongings in your house, and fall in love with their new home.