9 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Placing Your Home for Sale - Part Seven
Don’t Forget The Kids!
Moving to a new house or area can be a stressful time for anyone, but it can be even more stressful than we sometimes realise for the children.
You and Them
Typical families move house about every 5-6 years, not a long time when you’re 30-40 years old, but it is a huge percentage of time for a 7 year old who won’t ever remember living anywhere else. This is their home, the place they feel safe and secure in.
A house is much more to a child than just a place to live, it is the centre of their world, and for some the only one they have ever known. All their familiar places, friends, school and activities have been within easy reach and that is about to change.
Everything will be different for them, even if you are only moving a few streets away, suddenly they are faced with one of the biggest and unexpected changes to their lives. It can be exciting, but also stressful.
Why We Move
You have very good reasons for making the move; a promotion, better opportunities, having access to sufficient funds to buy a bigger home so they can all have their own bedrooms, moving closer to other family members etc.
Almost always the decision to move is decided by the parents with the future in mind and the expected improvement in everyone’s lives that will result from the move, whether it is short or long term.
In Their Eyes
We all have a fear of the unknown, and children are especially nervous about anything that is not familiar to them. Things will be strange, exciting too, for a while, but the uncertainty will remain and children can always find the negatives in a move because they lack familiarity with their new surroundings.
Involve Them Early
Teenagers especially need to hear about what you’re thinking as early as possible as they feel very much part of the adult world and will feel left out if not involved in the whole process, it’s also good sense too, as they can often help with some of the things that need to be organised, especially if there are also younger children who will be affected.
Keep reinforcing the positive aspects of the move and the new ‘home’, tell stories about the good features the area and house that will appeal to them, teenagers need to know how and where they will find new friends, or old ones who are in the new area, younger children will get excited about having their own room.
Find out from them what they love about where they live now and what’s important to them in the home, then you can focus on trying to make the new home feel a lot like the old one for them.
If possible, once a new home has been selected, take them for a visit and show them around the area as well, show them things that will interest them. The skateboard park, the beach, the playing fields, anywhere where they will have an opportunity to enjoy being outside and finding kids with the same interests.
From personal experience, I can say that moving as a child was scary due to losing close friends more than anything else, but there was also excitement about what could be in store. In the end, it was never the house that I missed, it was always the people, so please help your kids through that with as much love and attention as you can.
This is part seven of a nine part series for home sellers.
Author, Graham Lester
Maggie Dixon Real Estate