I get asked a lot if it's ok if kids can come along on showings. What am I going to say, no? However, I do let the buyers know what the process is going to be like and how it's so much harder with kids.
First, kids, no matter what age, usually only last for about 3 houses. If you have 5, 6, or 10 houses to see that day, do you really think you can concentrate if you have to constantly listen to kids ask, "Are we done yet?"
Second, no matter how "well behaved" your child is, they're never well behaved enough to not run around a vacant house or not touch something in an occupied house. Kids just don't really see those boundaries. And if the sellers are home, any child not their own is never well behaved!
Third, as someone who might spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on one of these houses, you're not able to focus on the houses and really give the houses the attention they deserve because you're worrying about which way your kid(s) ran and if they're inside or outside, or if they're upstairs or downstairs...
Buying a house is a very emotional thing for most buyers, and it's best to have focus. Kids can be a distraction.
With that, what do you do with the kids? Most of my buyers look at houses during the day when their kids are in school. But you work? Well, when do you go to the dentist or doctor appointments? They aren't around in the evenings because they're home with their families. You schedule first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or towards the end of the day before you have to pick up your kids, right? Who wants their kids running around a waiting room while you're in your appointment?
Think the same thing for house hunting. A house purchase is a huge purchase. Why can't you go into work at 10am instead of 8:30? Why can't you leave for lunch to look at houses? Why can't you leave work at 3:30pm to see a couple? Many of my clients take an hour or two out of their day to view houses instead of waiting until the weekend when they have nothing to do with the kids except bring them along.
Yes, there are exceptions. Sometimes there is just nothing that can be done with the kids. For those situations, I say we need to limit the amount of houses we look at. You need to bring an ipad or coloring books or some activity for them to play with in the car. You need to bring them LOTS of snacks.
I remember some buyers I worked with a few years ago who brought their 5 kids along. They were in town for a 3 day house hunt, and we looked at 14-17 houses each day. The kids ranged from 3 months to 16 years old. How long do you think it took to get through those houses? This was before the ipad and smart phones...
Please leave your kids at school, with a babysitter, with a friend or family member, or bring someone along who can stay with them in the car. They will distract you and you can get back to your kids faster without them looking with us. Plus, no parents need their kid(s)'s approval on the house picked as it's not their money!!
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*Should Kids Come Along to Look at Houses?* was first published on donnahomesblog.com.