Selling a Home … With a Toddler

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Life doesn’t stop because you have kids. That has never been more apparent to me than when listing our home for sale. I’ve sold a home before, but it was just me and the hubs then. We picked up after ourselves, wiped down the sinks and countertops, and made the bed before leaving for work. If there was a showing, we had no worries. My, my, my how times have changed! Somehow we invited a tornado of activity and mess into our lives. GAME=CHANGED. So today, I’m going to share with you how to get your house ready for a real estate showing with a toddler in tow.

Allow me to set the scene:

Mere minutes after serving your toddler his second lunch (because he strenuously objected to the first) your phone pings with a text alert for a showing. You look at the time and realize you have 45 minutes until the prospective buyers (please, please, please buy my house!) arrive so you spring into action:

  • Wipe toddler’s face and hands, wipe down the high chair tray, grab smushed up bits of food off the floor while your toddler continues to rain down more food on you while bent over.
  • Remove toddler from high chair, engage him in some form of entertainment. Sesame Street on Hulu should work. Vow that you will do less screen time tomorrow.
  • Return to kitchen, wipe down counter tops, throw dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Run the disposal, make sure that any stinky trash is taken outside.
  • Realize that it is eerily quiet. Pop back into the living room to find your toddler not watching Sesame Street, but somehow scaling the furniture to reach the markers you thought you put out of his reach yesterday. You catch your child just as he is about to begin coloring the freshly cleaned carpet.
  • Ask toddler if he wants to “help” mommy pick up toys. Realize that you should have started teaching your child the clean up song months ago and that his blank stare is further proof of maternal failure. Scoop all the toys into a bin and place in the corner.
  • Head to the bedroom to make up your bed. Just as you get the last throw pillow just right, toddler launches himself in the middle of your bed and begins jumping up and down. Coax child off the bed, rearrange pillows.
  • Knowing immediately you will regret this, give toddler a snack cup of goldfish to distract him while you straighten up the bathroom and do a final check of the house. Look at time and realize you have 15 minutes remaining.
  • Head back through living room to find the toy bin upended in the middle of the floor. Sigh. Scoop up toys again and carry on.
  • Toddler begins fussing because he skipped his nap time and is teething. Realize what you should have been doing all along and grab your baby carrier and sling that kiddo up on your back. Applaud yourself at your mommy brilliance. Toddler is happy, you are hands free, and you have 10 minutes to spare to get your things and get out the door.
  • Decide to run the vacuum over the floors quickly to get the goldfish your toddler crushed. While vacuuming you hear a telltale noise. That’s right. Toddler has decided it’s time for #2.
  • Shove vacuum into the closet, slide the now poopy and even more fussy toddler off your back, hoping not to squish out any of said #2 in the process.
  • Change diaper while thinking “What the eff did I feed this child?!?”
  • Your time cushion is gone, the realtor is sitting outside in your driveway. Your house looks great, but officially smells like 3 day old Taco Bell. You gather your things, walk out the door and hope for the best.
  • Smile politely at the realtor and clients as you buckle your toddler into his car seat
  • Collapse behind your steering wheel…you did it mama!

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