Selling a house is stressful. Everyone knows this – it’s one of those ‘facts’ that everyone can trot out at a party “the three most stressful things in life are death, divorce and MOVING HOUSE!“. But what people don’t mention so often is the whole Getting Ready for the Estate Agents. With teenagers in your house.
I mean seriously – you scrub that kitchen to within an inch of its life. You leave for three nanoseconds to shake the cushions into a semi-normal square shape, and return to find three bowls and a 2 mugs sitting on top of the dishwasher, cheered on by a few tea bag drips up the side of the cupboards and the sad and forlorn still-warm teabag lying forlornly in your previously pristine sink. And you don’t even want to think what might be lurking in their room which you emptied 3 black sacks of rubbish from only yesterday… Bloody teenagers.
BUT. Fret not. We have some ace tips to help when you’re Getting Ready for the Estate Agents, from some expert London Estate Agents who’ve seen it all, and who have some genuinely useful ideas to stop you from actually imploding in your previously-pristine kitchen (yeah, don’t do that – it’s just more mess to tidy up before the next viewing).
1 – Get Them On Board
This one has to come before everything else. If you’re moving with teenagers, you really need them on side. They need to be keen for the move – or at the very least they need to understand why it’s happening, and be ready to help and support you. If you have that, then everything else becomes SO much easier. You become a team – they’ll willingly whisk round with the vacuum if you’ll deal with the toilet and the kitchen bin.
They’ll even be willing to get a cake or bread in the oven to make sure the house smells amazing.
2 – Book estate agent visits for when they’re out.
If they’re at school, book your viewings for late morning through to early afternoon – that gives you time for a whisk round and a tidy once they’ve left the house, with zero chance of a teen destroyer passing through when your back is turned. If it’s holiday time then rope in their mates’ mums to arrange for them to be out – with no chance of them returning mid-viewing!
3 – Storage Solutions hide a multitude of sins
If you’re Getting Ready for the Estate Agents you cannot go wrong by investing in a heap of storage boxes/bins/tubs. They’re dirt cheap, and if they have a lid they look instantly tidy, no matter how much
crap ‘essential childhood memories’ are stuffed inside them.
Personally I’m ma huge fan of huge shallow under-bed storage boxes on rollers. But head to TK Maxx or Wilkos and choose some stylish stacking boxes that match the room, Or try The Plastic Box Shop for any shape/size/colour/function storage your brain can conceive (and probably some that it can’t). Even an open wire basket makes a pile of papers or shoes look organised and less chaotic.
4 – Strict No Go Zones
They’re not babies any more – just tell them. NO. They may NOT go into the kitchen/living room/frankly anywhere outside their bedroom for the next two hours.
If you’ve spent two hours clearing, sorting, scrubbing and shining a room, just tell them it’s out of bounds for the foreseeable.
5 – If all else fails, bribe them.
Aahhh, the age old way to any teenagers heart. Cold hard cash. Pay for them to go to the cinema, top up their phone, slip them a tenner. Doesn’t matter. Just let them know what you want, and reward them for complying.
At the end of the day, just talk about the move, help them understand what is stressful, what they can do to help, and what you need as a minimum for them to at least not make things harder. Teens will nearly always rise to a responsibility given – so go ahead and just trust them.
(you might also like our 7 Steps to a Stress Free move!)