7 Tips for House Shopping with Kids In Tow
I don’t know about you, but most activities with kids seem like organized chaos. Just trying to get out the door making sure all kids have found their shoes and jackets, brushed their teeth, and ate breakfast (without an outfit change), is a small victory. So how are you supposed to make one of your biggest life decisions – a home purchase – with kids in tow? A babysitter may not always be an option. So, here are a few helpful tips we have learned along the way.
- SET UP the showing for success. Let your real estate broker know any special needs or arrangements prior to showing. We can then do our best to accommodate everyone. Is your child allergic to pets? Will loud noises, bright lights or darkness bother your sensory child? Let us help you set the day up for success.
- Plan your showings around NAP schedules. Everyone will be happier. And having children ourselves, we understand how important those naps are.
- Lay the GROUND RULES. Prior to entering the first home, we will kindly explain to the kids that we are entering a guest’s home and ask that they remove their shoes, keep hands to themselves and stay with their parents. Once that door opens, those remarks are usually forgotten. So gentle and kind reminders will be reiterated throughout the home and reoccurring homes. Most likely, they will see things they want to touch. Especially if their is a kid’s room in the home. We find that having their hands occupied will decrease that urge. Have them bring a small toy or book so there hands busy while touring the home.
- Bring plenty of SNACKS for between showings. This ties closely to #1. Happy kids! We will discourage eating in the home, but you and the kids will want to get refueled along the way!
- HEAD OUTSIDE. If it is nice weather and there is a backyard, send the kids outdoors. We have spent many an afternoon in the backyard letting the kids run out energy while we discuss the pros and cons of the property.
- TAG TEAM. As much as you prepare for a perfect day, life happens. Meltdowns, car naps, boredom – your child/ren may be happiest staying in the vehicle with a parent. In which case, we recommend tag team – one parent at a time. If the house is a hit, we can reschedule a second showing where you both can view the home together.
- BE FLEXIBLE. Some days it’s just not happening. And we understand that. Yes, we may have only seen 3 of the 7 homes we wished to see. We can take a break and maybe even reschedule for later in the day or the next.
Your real estate agent should not make your children feel like an inconvenience. If he/she does, find a NEW one!
As realtors with children, we get it. The thought o viewing homes with kids in tow can be a daunting task. And our job is to not only show a home to you, but make the process enjoyable and as smooth as possible. For us, that means our role may be more than home details and stats. It’s helping with kids – whether it be an extra set of eyes, corralling the kids from room to room, or in Ryan’s case a bit of humor to lighten up the mood and keep it fun for all. We may head outside or a different room with your kids, to let you discuss the home with your partner without the distraction. And if schedules allow and both of us are present for a showing, one of us tends to watch the kids more intently so the other can guide you through the home.
Best wishes in your home search. We hope these tips make the process more enjoyable. It is an exciting time as you search for the next home to make your family memories!