Kids and Showing Appointments


Dear David,

We are ready to move out of our starter home and purchase something larger. My wife and I were newlyweds when we bought our current house. Now we’re a family of five with three young kids. Should we bring the children on showings with us so they can pick out their bedrooms? – FAMILY MAN

DEAR FAMILY: Congratulations on being ready to make your next move. With a busy family in tow, I’m sure you’re sitting down with your agent to formulate a plan that covers buying your new home, selling your existing home, moving, packing and decluttering, among other things. One detail you may need to discuss is the option of leaving your children out of the decision making process, at least this early in the game.

The universal advice I give my clients is to figure out where they’re going next, which of course means different things to different people. A retired couple may focus on buying or renting their next home before selling the one they’ve lived in for decades. For a move-up buyer like yourself, it often makes more sense to coordinate a purchase and sale in parallel, which means preparing to sell your current home while also shopping for a new one, so the two transactions can be wrapped up in quick succession.

With so much going on, finding a home that balances the wants and needs of you and your spouse can be a significant challenge. Add three young children to the mix, and the process becomes that much harder. When kids come on showing appointments, their natural curiosity about things they see in the house can monopolize a parents’ attention and turn an otherwise productive visit into a skirmish about whether they get to play with someone else’s toys. If you have inlaws or a trusted babysitter nearby, this is a great chance for your kids to enjoy some quality time with them while you focus on finding a house

My best advice is that you attend initial showing appointments without your children, friends or even your parents in tow. While their input is valuable at different points in the process, you want to avoid having a child fall in love with a house because there’s a friendly cat or a mural in the bedroom. For now, you need to be free to make choices based on your family’s long-term needs, not someone else’s furnishings. You know your children best and it’s always your call, but in my experience, it’s easier to evaluate a home when there are fewer distractions.

PRO TIP: Having uninterrupted time to focus on one of your largest financial decisions will make the house hunting process easier. If you find what seems like the perfect home and want input from your family, consider booking a second showing once you’ve narrowed your search to one or two properties. Your agent can quite often get you back through the house(s) later the same day. #Advice #AskDavid #TheNegotiator

David is a top-selling Broker in Kitchener-Waterloo Region. He works personally with you when selling or buying your home. Call or text today for your free home evaluation! 519-577-1212.