Young Children, De-Cluttering, Newly Listed Homes
Interior picture of a house with a kitchen


Dear David,
We’re moving in a few weeks and have 2 young children. Any advice? – Anxious Dad

Dear Anxious,

My oldest was a toddler the last time we moved. One thing that helped immensely was having someone to entertain her for a few hours at a time. Children tend to want to unpack things about as quickly as you can box them up, so it’s great to have some blocks of time to yourself in order to finish packing. Label your boxes meticulously so that if you need something specific, you can find it easily (and possibly avoid a meltdown when routines are already in flux). Keep some favourite toys in a backpack that stays with you, so your children have something familiar to distract them. And when you arrive at your new home, hold on to some of your moving boxes. They make great forts and tunnels…which can help keep the little ones busy while you unpack!

Dear David,
I need to de-clutter my house before I list it. Where should I start? – Best Foot Forward

Dear Best,

If you’re planning on moving in the near future, you can de-clutter closets and storage areas by pre-packing items that don’t get used often. My suggestion would be to rent a portable storage pod (there are a number of companies in town that will drop one right in your driveway). Pack your items in moving boxes and load up the pod; your belongings will be ready to go when you are. Using your garage as a storage area isn’t generally recommended, but can work in a pinch if you can store your items in a neat and tidy fashion. Many buyers aren’t alarmed by a bit of clutter in the garage. Unless the area is a special selling feature of your home, they’ll likely only give it a passing glance anyway.

Dear David, I’m thinking about making an offer on a home that’s new to the market. Any special strategies? – Ready to Buy

Dear Ready,

Our local market is red-hot at the moment, which means that well-priced properties are selling quickly and multiple offers are common. Having your proverbial ducks in a row will position you to compete in this type of environment. Start by making sure that you are pre-approved for financing, so you know exactly how much you can spend. Have your Realtor check to see if the vendors are holding offers (which increases the likelihood you may have to compete). Take a look at what else has sold in the neighbourhood in the last 2 or 3 months; we used to look at sales over the last year, but the market is moving so quickly now that up-to-date figures are required. It’s always worth doing an inspection in advance, so you can be comfortable making an offer without that condition. There are a few trade secrets that win offers too, but I guard those pretty tightly…it’s not always about the money.