Here's some good information for prospective home buying families about how to bring the kids house hunting and minimize distractions.
For those home buyers with a family, we know how tough it can be steal away the time needed alone to look at homes. This is especially true when a hot new listing hits the real estate market and prospective home buyers must move fast for a viewing! Unfortunately, it's not like we all have child care providers on retainer, and sometimes there's no choice but throw the kids in the car and go house hunting.
In an effort to help house hunting families and their real estate agents, I spoke a local legend in child care, my mom Mary Gregory. Mom has been a preferred home child care provider for preschool age children in the Santa Clarita Valley for over 30 years. As usual, mom had some helpful "direction," I mean suggestions, on how to minimize distractions when bringing the kids to view homes. Here's what she had to say:
It's natural for children to be excited when visiting a strange home. Before going inside, it wouldn't hurt for parents to give the child a gentle reminder to be respectful when inside someone's home. Also, it never hurts to offer up a little reward for good behavior during the viewings.The age of the children will determine how to handle any given situation, so be prepared for any age. If they're old enough, try to make them a part of the home viewing process. Give them a job to do, something specific to look for as they walk through the home. Teach them what to look for when searching for a home to buy. If they are preschool or kindergarten age, have them search out different colors, objects or letters. It's always best to be prepared in advance with a few different ways in which to distract them.
Because a home viewing affects such an an important decision, it's easy for parents to ignore the children while walking through. If kids feel they are being ignored they will sometimes act out to gain attention, even if it means trouble. This is where the Realtor might be able to help out. The minute you notice the children getting a little excited, distract them with another job to do or toy to hold. Just in case, it's always a good idea to have a few small, quiet, hand held toys available to use as a distraction. If you're a realtor and often work with families, buy a few inexpensive toys to keep in the car. Maybe a cheap held video game, small stuffed animal, a couple dolls or action figures.
If you're prepared in advance to minimize distractions, there's no reason to fear bringing the kids along on the house hunt. Good luck and we hope you and your family find the "perfect home."Matt Gregory661-713-4799Gregory Real Estate GroupKeller Williams VIP Properties