I wouldn’t be writing this post if I hadn’t recently experienced the craziness of selling and buying a home during the last couple of months. I have come to the conclusion that if you homeschool while selling your home you will have days where you will legitimately think you are losing your mind.
How to Homeschool While Selling Your Home
Selling a home is stressful. I think that goes without saying, but selling a home while you homeschool is a whole other level of stress. I started homeschooling over 13 years ago and I still found the whole experience overwhelming at times.
Having come out on the other side I can tell you what did and didn’t work and what I would do differently. In the whole process, there are only a handful of things that you really have control over.
Here are my best tips for success for your homeschool while selling your home:
1. Get ready
Before you list your home, you have homework to do. Prepare yourself mentally to work hard and know why you are selling and why you are homeschooling your children. There will be days that you will ask yourself why you are doing this to yourself.
Prepare to streamline your homeschool plans. I used my homeschool organizer and planner and kept our goals simple and attainable. It is a flexible planner that makes it easy to keep track of what you’ve done as opposed to planning everything in advance.
When you homeschool while selling your home, it is easy to write down in your planner what you’ve done since you never know how the days or weeks are going to look in advance.
Keeping track of what you’ve done is especially helpful when life is crazy. Writing things down is a great way to track progress and have proof of attendance if required in your jurisdiction.
We listed our house at the end of the summer. I planned our year accordingly. If you stick to the basics and plan field trips and unschool when your home is on the market, you can reduce your stress levels immensely.
On the house selling side, try to get your house to look its best. If you want to minimize stress, you ideally want your house to sell quickly. This will happen more readily if your house looks like a show home.
Don’t wait for negative comments from potential buyers or from a home inspection. Some things that you can do right away to get your house ready include:
- pack up excess toys, furniture, and stuff that won’t appeal to a range of buyers and store them out of sight (we rented storage). Think minimalist!
- paint the house interior in a modern neutral color (we chose Sherwin Williams Alabaster) and don’t forget to paint the trim and doors using wipeable (semi-gloss) white paint
- update hardware and light fixtures
- repair or replace anything that is damaged
- clean the carpets
- clean everything
- plan to stage your home
I went extreme on this one. I wanted the house to sell quickly. It is a nightmare to keep a house with children clean all the time. I didn’t want the process to drag on for months.
Hide the crayons! Seriously, the magic eraser became my best friend because I failed to hide every pencil from the 3-year-old.
Each of my students (4 of my 8 kiddos) had a small bin with their school books and a pencil case. I kept my teacher stuff and my planner in a basket. These were easy to hide or take along during showings.
We only had access to minimal school supplies, a laptop, and a kindle. It sufficed and we still managed to get things done.
2. Ask for help
If there is ever a time to ask for help, selling a home while homeschooling is one of those times. This will look very different from family to family.
No matter how organized or amazing you are, you will likely need help at some point in the process. Don’t be afraid to ask for it. Now is not the time to try to do it all on your own.
There is no shame in asking family, friends, or neighbors to watch the kids while you pack, clean, and prepare your home for selling. We don’t have family living nearby, so we asked neighbors for help.
They lent us their driveway for the kids to chalk on and for us to park our little red trailer. They also brought out all the cool toys from their childhood for our kids to play with during a few of the showings.
If someone offers help or food, don’t hesitate (unless you’re allergic to the food of course) to take it. Every little bit helps. Maybe your kids can do their home studies at a friend’s house or with Grandpa or an Auntie.
Sometimes you need to be a little creative or flexible, but a little help can really go a long way to saving your sanity.
3. Hire an amazing realtor
Hiring an amazing realtor when selling your home is paramount to your success and saves you so much stress and work.
Ask around if you don’t know a good realtor. Real estate agents work by referral. Good agents have great reviews and testimonials online and in person.
You may need to interview a number of agents before you find the right one. The right agent will understand your needs and requests and will work to meet them.
Our agent was the same agent we used selling our duplex in 2017. We sold our duplex the first day it was on the market!
She took the time to listen to our requests and needs this time around as well. She staged our home to sell in a very tough market. Our house definitely didn’t look like 10 people lived there.
She advised us every step of the way. When we got a lowball offer, she helped us negotiate. She is as tough as nails and we appreciate that.
A good agent wants you to make informed decisions and doesn’t pressure you into a decision that you would regret later on.
Find an agent that you trust. After all, you have a family and homeschooling on your plate. You need someone who is willing to work for you and not make more work for you.
4. Adopt a routine that works
In the process of selling your home, you and your children need a new temporary routine. Take a little time to plan your days as best you can.
I realize this is extremely difficult when you never know when you are going to have showings. Your routine needs to be simple to be effective.
I chose to plan the night before how and what we would do the next day. We have a wake-up and breakfast routine that stayed the same. After breakfast, however, was different than normal.
We spent a bit of time tidying and preparing meals. If we had a showing, we would prepare the meals at this time and start a load of laundry.
I made it a priority to stay on top of the laundry more than usual. I did a load every day whether we had a showing or not.
Get the kids involved. Have everyone throw their laundry in a centrally located laundry basket. Make it easy to keep on top of. Piles of dirty laundry are more difficult to hide if you get a showing booked on short notice.
A few dirty clothes can be hidden in the washing machine, however.
If you haven’t already taught your kids to put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, now is a good time for that, too. Simple routines will save your sanity and make it easier to keep your home looking like a show home and get it sold!
5. Relationships matter
Emotions are bound to run their course of highs and lows for everyone involved. Tears will flow and words will be spoken that you wish had been held back.
Selling a home is a highly stressful thing to do. It doesn’t hurt to take a break from it all to spend some time doing something you all love to do.
Take time to dry the tears if you can. Relationships are so much more important than getting every single spot off of the sink. Believe me. A spot somewhere won’t be the reason the house didn’t sell.
Spend time alone with your spouse and try to spend one-on-one time with each of your children. When a person feels connected and loved, stressful situations are easier to handle.
This is especially true for kids with higher needs. Now more than ever, try to make time for the relationship with your spouse and children.
Try not to take it personally when your kids are defiant or act out. Selling a home is taking away a part of their world. Children act out on their fears and insecurities.
You are doing the best job you can do. A hug or a kind word can go a long way. Once the home is sold and the move is a part of history, the relationships will still be there.
6. Don’t forget self-care
Perhaps self-care should have been further up the list, but I like to save the best for the last!
Take care of yourself during this process as best as you can. It isn’t easy being the superwoman that you are. Being amazing takes real effort.
Do your best to take time for yourself while selling your home. It is so easy to get caught up in the cleaning and organizing where you need to be for the next showing that you can easily forget to take care of yourself and get burned out.
You don’t need to be everything to everyone all of the time. Schedule into your routine some time to do things that will restore you and give you joy.
After you sell your home, you still have to move, unpack and set up your new home, so pace yourself. Take breaks. You will thank yourself later.
In case no one has told you lately, you are an amazing woman. You are someone who cares and wants the best for those you love and I admire you for that.
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