If you are moving as a family, it’s natural to want to bring kids to see their potential new homes. However, even older, well-behaved kids may find visiting house after house a giant bore, and that can cause issues as you visit open houses. The best advice for real estate etiquette for parents in Alpine, TX is to hire a sitter and leave children at home, but if they must accompany you, here are five tips on bringing children to open houses:
- Remember, it’s not yours yet: Open houses need to be treated with respect. That means no running around, no touching things without permission and if your teenagers get bored, no turning on the home’s electronics and hoping to see a movie. You know your children best, and if they cannot handle these basic rules, it is best to go without them. But if they are genuinely interested and want to participate, they are welcome.
- Bring help: If kids must accompany you, bring a friend, spouse, partner or babysitter. One adult with three small children will not be able to properly supervise and assess a home at the same time. Even with this supervision, do not be ashamed to use mobile devices to entertain them with movies or games. You are making a big decision, and viewing and considering homes requires your full attention.
- Don’t forget who pays the mortgage: While kids may have some input, your home choice is not ultimately their decision. Making kids decision-makers places pressure on them that is not appropriate. Many parents often elect to only bring kids to second showings, or even keep them out of the process until the home inspection. Just like bringing kids can be a distraction while trying to see homes, they can also derail the decision-making process with opinions that are more disruptive than helpful.
- Narrow down your search: Many adults are more than happy to look at homes all day long. However, your children will likely not have the same interest and attention span. Narrow your search down so house hunting is a half day rather than a full-day endeavor. That way, you are less likely to tempt fate with outbursts or boredom. If your child’s temperament is not going to cooperate that day, reschedule for a better one.
- Be prepared: Keep in mind that not every home you will view will be childproof. This is another reason to leave young children at home, but also know you cannot trust current homeowners to be prepared for your child’s visit. Before you leave, give your child ground rules for when you are visiting these homes. This includes staying away from other people’s possessions, not hanging on railings and never handling electronics that do not belong to them. Again, if you do not feel your child can respect these boundaries, make other arrangements for them.