Unattended kids will be given an Espresso ...

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® MD594797

Unattended kids will be given an Espresso and a free puppy!

When working with families with young children, a little understanding, emergency preparedness and humor can go a long way!

Whether or not kids should be taken along on home tours is always a hot topic. I happen to not only not mind but to welcome them. I love working with families. Perhaps it's because I've been very fortunate with most of my clients and have no horror stories to tell about kids jumping on beds, breaking a mirror, climbing on the roof, tasting the cat's food ... *quick, knock on wood*

Perhaps it's because I am a mom and that very fact has been a home-tour saver more than once. I recall the one instance when Lil' Joe really had to use the bathroom but the house we were looking at had been winterized. As it so happened, I had an emergency pull-up in my mom-tool bag. Major crisis prevented.

Another time I was able to distract the 2-year old daughter with an Elmo-phone that was a big hit with my daughter and always in my car. Lots of buttons to push and sounds to discover ... it kept her happy and occupied for quite some time.

Kids will be kids, sometimes they'll listen and sometimes they wont. The key is to not push your luck. If they have a not-so-good day, dragging out the time they are not allowed to touch anything will just result in stomping feet and pouty faces. How much fun is that for mom, dad & the Realtor®? Exactly.

Home tours are not the most exciting thing for a little child, thus a little understanding and emergency-preparedness will go a long way.

Have a special new toy handy. Bring a healthy snack. Cut the home tour short and reschedule for another day if a melt-down is eminent or take a little break. Take them outside to watch the deer/birds/grasshoppers so mom and dad can take another look ... 

In my experience, parents do set the ground rules for their children. But should I ever happen to be in a situation when that is not so clear, I would try it with some humor first. Just like the Antiques store we visited recently which sported the sign:

"Unattended kids will be given an Espresso and a free puppy!"

Posted by







Thompson Company, REALTORS
16910 Oak Hill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20905
o: (301) 384-9177 c: (240)593-2860


Andrea is a REALTOR® based in Silver Spring, MD. She has enjoyed assisting buyers and sellers since 2004 and focuses on residential Real Estate in  Montgomery and Howard County, MD. Andrea is a proud mom and hobby decorator with a vintage soul. She always answers the phone with a smile, enjoys running and treasure hunting and is addicted to coffee.


 All photographs are my own and I'd like to keep it that way. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.




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Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

ANdrea-  love it! so funny.. I might print that out and put on display at open houses...   There was a little darling yesterday who climbed on the railings - every conceivable precipice in the house -  very scary..

Jul 09, 2012 07:03 AM #13
Mike & Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

Lucky for me, my clients rarely bring the kids. 

I would not mind the kids if the parents would act like parents instead of making excuses for the brats.  I have had kids jump on beds, bang on the baby grand, push each other in the pool and torture the cat.

I have showed property with both kids and dogs...I prefer the dogs.

Jul 09, 2012 07:16 AM #14
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

Very funny post!  Anyone who has children will absolutely be able to relate!  Great advice!

Jul 09, 2012 08:41 AM #15
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Andrea,

I love the sign....might have to post that one in the office (LOL)

Jul 09, 2012 08:55 AM #16
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

MOST of the time, kids have no place on home showings. Even well behaved kids get worn out and lose their patience.

Jul 09, 2012 09:26 AM #17
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Tammy, I understand completely. When my hubby was deployed I was in that same situation a few times. I was so very lucky with my clients at that time who welcomed my daughter to come along. It worked out great but we made it a point to only tour a home or two at a time.

Hi Rebecca, thank you! Sometimes they can be a distraction - that's when those snacks and new toys come in handy - and other times they can point out things that we grown-ups are oblivious, too!

Hi Jay, thank you.

Hi Lora, a goodie-bag is a great idea and I bet has paid of many times for you!

Hi Bud & Beth, I like the reward at the end of the home-tour, especially if it's a longer one. I've heard some stories but personally never had any issues.

Hi Bryan, that sign may come in handy! I'm contemplating of making one for my next open house.

Hi Amcap, I agree & loved the sign, too! Thank you.

Hi Kathryn, I love working with families. While a day-long home tour is not advisable, in my opinion kids should not be left out completely. It's just a matter of tuning into their needs, too!

Hi Patsy, very true! Thank you for adding a great thought to my blog!

Hi Gay, thank you! :-) I'm thinking about it, too. Sounds like it could have already come in handy for you!

Hi Buyers Broker, thankfully I've never had any issues!

Hi Charlie, thank you very much!

Hi Lisa, glad, I could give you an idea :-) Thank you!

Hi Erica, I disagree. In my opinion kids should be part of the home-buying process - and I welcome them for that reason. I also work with military relocation clients, many of whom do not have any other options.

Jul 09, 2012 09:47 AM #18
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Love it!  I'll be stocking up on expresso and puppies... lol  Seriously, those are good suggestions, I especially like the one about taking the kids outside when they might get a bit too wild inside.

Jul 09, 2012 10:46 AM #19
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Apex, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489


I have parents bring kids all the time. I will often suggest they bring something to keep the kids occupied or snacks for the car. I don't mind them having a bite to eat in my car. 

A lot of times they'll bring an electronic device. 

I did once have a kid who waited in my car while we viewed a home. he was supposed to be reading. When we returned to my car he kept locking the door and wouldn't let me unlock it so we could get back in. His parents finally got him to stop. I just thought how devastated I'd be if that were my kid.

Jul 09, 2012 11:51 AM #20
Pete Xavier with X Group Real Estate Advocates
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

I would give them free cough syrup, extra strength.


Jul 09, 2012 12:55 PM #21
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Silvia, LOL! That should be interesting .. make sure you let us know all about it! :-)

Hi Carla, Leapster & Co. are a great distraction as well! I don't think I would leave anyone alone in my car but I don't know the circumstances in your example.

Hi Pete, you see you would give them the Espresso right before they go home, that's the fun part ;-)

Jul 09, 2012 01:20 PM #22
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks Andrea, I always love that quote, up until yesterday I never really got the opportunity to need it, these kids were literally climbing the walls, and everything else.

Jul 09, 2012 01:34 PM #23
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Funny title and antique store sign.  I'm usually the listing agent but when I'm not I figure my car trunk is for the crumb-crushers.  Your approach is more humane so I appreciate your suggestions.  You can always put them in your trunk later, when it's time to sign a purchase contract.  I'm afraid to ask what an "emergency pull-up" is. 

Jul 09, 2012 02:23 PM #24
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Andrea - I love the humor.  Also, being prepared tends to go a long way with kids.

Jul 09, 2012 04:18 PM #25
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Andrea, that's a cute sign. It is difficult for young children to go home shopping. Sounds like you're a hit with families! 

Jul 09, 2012 07:18 PM #26
Phil Caulfield
Guarantee Mortgage - Burlingame, CA
I Get The Loans Done That The Big Banks Don't!

Did you see that sign at Chubby's Barbeque in Emmitsburg?

Jul 10, 2012 02:48 AM #27
Glenn Freezman
Family Abstract, Inc. - Horsham, PA

Be careful how you treat the children, they are the next generation of home buyers.  We have owned a store call We're Not All Nuts  for 37 years and can tell you that treating the kids like the customers makes for an easier transaction all the way around.  Builds long term appreciation from the new up and coming future buyers.  I believe it also builds the opportuntity for a child to learn something about the real world.  To many times i see a seperation between a great life lesson and messengers. 

Jul 10, 2012 03:21 AM #28
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker (503) 810-7192
BuyersAgentPortland.com | Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

It's difficult for me to have the children around.  Not because I don't like them, I do -- even had one of 'em myself.  But the "phone" theory rings true. Ever been on the phone and the minute you do, the kids go off the deep end? Yeah, it's like that when taking them into a home that's for sale.

Jul 10, 2012 06:56 AM #29
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Bob, I'm confident this was an exception!

Hi Lloyd, very funny! Well, a pull-up is the step b/w diaper and big kid underwear. Since I little ones, an emergency supply is a must.

Hi Christine, thank you. No doubt about that!

Hi Pamela, thank you and good to see you around!

Hi Phil, I saw it at an Antique store south of Williamsburg.. loved it and had to take a picture of it.

Hi Glenn, love your input on this topic & couldn't agree more!

Hi Carla, I get it, my girls are practicing the perfection of the phone theory ;-)

Jul 10, 2012 01:38 PM #30
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I have had rental prospects show up with kids and animals and leave them in their car * I always suggest that they be brought in just to allow more time for the showing AND to see how they interact.....leaving a pet in a 100 degree car is not a good idea for however long it may be

Jul 10, 2012 06:11 PM #31
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I have not had too big of a problem, but I really don't like when the parents let the kids play with things and don't keep them with the rest of us, just letting them roam around and do as they please.  I do not like to become a babysitter.  I love that you have emergency stuff - the pull ups is hilarious.  I hate to admit it but I've had a client let her son pee in the backyard of a house we were looking at.  I certainly did not approve of it, and they did it before I knew what was going on, but the home had no water and I guess there was very little alternative.....-Kasey

Jul 11, 2012 01:59 PM #32
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Andrea Bedard

M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond
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