Staging is always a nebulous part of the home buying process. There are decisions to make on color, furniture, personal items, and countless other things that need to be handled on a room-by-room basis. Bedrooms for children can be a bit of a landmine during the selling process. If they look too much like a kid actually lives in them, the mess or clutter may turn buyers away. Here are six tips to stage your children's bedrooms in ways that will help keep them clean and appeal to buyers.
Thin Out the Toys
If you feel like your kids have a million toys you can barely keep out of chaos, home buyers will feel it at least twice as much. The best way to maintain a clear space is to get the number and size of the toys under control. Divide up the toys by frequency, separating out toys that your child needs every day, toys they only play with sometimes and items that could probably be sold, donated or given away. Purchase a few inexpensive bins to store excess toys. If the home-selling process takes longer than you expected, cycle out some things and bring others in. The bedrooms will feel larger and the kids will be happier with their toys as a result.
Conceal the Clutter
A room that is perfectly clean can still look terribly busy and cluttered. It is paradoxically easier to stage an infant's or young toddler's bedroom, because the toys are fairly large and fewer in number. Toys with small pieces or dozens of stuffed animals could really be an eyesore to an interested buyer. Invest in opaque bins and chests to keep toys. Use smaller, labeled bins and containers for small toys like Legos. A single set of cubbies or shelves with matching bins on a wall will look better than an overstuffed closet or a pile of boxes stacked in the corner.
Limit Toy Overflow
Your overall goal for home staging is to make each room look cohesive and complete. If there are children's toys and equipment scattered in various rooms of the home, it will send a strong message that the kids' bedrooms are too small to hold their stuff. Toy overflow also distracts from buyers imagining how they would use the space if they bought the home. When you must have equipment for babies or small children in the living room, confine it to a small number of things that can be easily replaced in the bedrooms or removed for storage during a showing. This will keep the space easier for your daily function, and make preparing to sell much simpler.
Select an Appropriate Color Palette
The way you design the room depends largely on your target audience. If you believe that the typical buyer for your home does not have children, you may want to choose colors for walls and furniture that are more muted, and in line with 2017 neutral color trends. However, when buyers are coming to see a home ideal for families, you may have a little wiggle room. Opt for a lively green or another natural hue, but be wary of making the theme too trendy or niche-specific. Classic but generic themes like sports, fairy tales or famous children's book characters tend to do well without alienating anyone.
Take Advantage of Natural Lighting
Staging kid's rooms is about much more than furniture placement and making cosmetic repairs, as ample natural lighting is also a key ingredient that will appeal to buyers. The benefits of natural lighting such as getting better sleep, incidents of higher productivity and substantial mood improvements are well documented, making natural light particularly important for children.
Beyond the physical and emotional benefits of natural light, kid's rooms will look far more appealing and inviting to potential buyers. Open up any window treatments such as blinds or curtains and let the light in when showing the home. If for some reason the room lacks windows, there are artificial lights that can mimic natural lighting for the purpose of showings. Consider adding these specialty bulbs in ceiling lights and other types of lamps in the room.
Stage Small Spaces Effectively
Unless your kids' bedrooms are particularly spacious, you need to follow standard operating procedures for staging small rooms. This means that you need to emphasize space, organization, and lighting. Ditch the full-size bunk beds in favor of a single twin with a trundle bed. Select a smaller nightstand and a child-sized desk. Maximize the storage in the closet without overcrowding it. Choose lightweight window coverings that can be opened fully to maximize the natural lighting. Add a spotlight for the desk and a small floor lamp in the corner to improve visibility, particularly if the window is small.
Upgrade the Playroom
You may use a spare bedroom as a playroom, but you want to make sure that the space also appeals to the largest possible range of buyers. While plenty of people coming to look at your home have children, they may not all be hoping for a princess play area for preschoolers. Give your playroom a refresh, with organization that can conceal the age-specific toys. Add equipment that would be useful for the entire family, such as an entertainment system and adult-sized seating. This way, buyers will see it as an extension of the living areas, instead of a room limited to small children.
When you are selling a home with kids, you need to make sure that their bedrooms appeal to all kinds of buyers. With these home staging tips, you can avoid annoying buyers who do not have children, while showing families that your home could be perfect for their needs.