Kids and Viewing Properties
Bringing children along while looking at properties can’t always be avoided.
What I try to do is engage the children in being part of the decision process. I ask them direct questions about what they like (or don’t) and give them a chance to give me feedback. After all, Fishhawk Lake is a community for ALL AGES (Fishhawk Lake summer memories) and when looking at a vacation home or retirement or even full-time living, it will certainly impact the children/grand children and I welcome their being part of the process. Most of the time, I have clients meet me at my home and if I know that children are coming, I will turn on the lights to our ciclid fish tank and invite them over to see the fish as soon as they walk in the door. Even the BIG kids (i.e., their parents) like it, too!
Children’s opinions are just as important as adults. I had a five year old who was immediately comfortable in offering her reactions. Her olfactory senses were quite acute, and as with some older people, self-editing was not evident. They speak their minds.
“This house smells like graham crackers”.
“This house smells like peanuts”.
“This house doesn’t smell good”.
Hey, from that kind of direct feedback, I knew exactly where I stood!
When taking clients on a tour of Fishhawk Lake properties, I like to have them in my vehicle so that I can point out areas of interest, like our spillway, fishladder (where the spawning salmon come up from the Nehalem River), and other local spots that make us unique. It can be challenging with smaller children when shifting carseats into my rig. If it can be done, I much prefer that everyone come with me so that clients can relax and take in the sights. The carseat may have to be relinquished if I have several people piling into my vehicle to stay together. The kids will stay in the backseat and buckle up, regardless. Much of our community is 10MPH, so slow-as-you-go is something I point out to all of my clients. Our roads are paved, but sometimes narrow and often there are families walking, biking or have kids/dogs with them. It is in the country, and I think my clients embrace that slower pace of living fairly easily.
Usually, a first time tour of Fishhawk Lake takes about 2 hours,
which will include looking at AT LEAST 2 properties, often much more. That timespan is not feasible for younger children, so we get in as much as possible before crankiness or restlessness sets in. I suggest that everyone bring layers and shoes that can be easily removed. You just never know what the weather will bring moment-to-moment!
I had one family who gave their somewhat older sons (pre-teens) literal “homework”! The dad had put together a quasi excel spreadsheet with favorites, numbered 1-5 across the top and down the left side were listed the different rooms, views and favorite cabin along with engaging questions like, “Which cabin had the best kitchen to eat and cook in?”
This proved to be excellent in getting immediate feedback from a fully engaged family and they made an offer after the very first visit to Fishhawk Lake on a property that had only been on the market for two weeks in November!
I hope that parents will watch over their children and keep them in tow. Doesn’t always happen. I try not to get too riled up when kids bounce on beds or try out the pool table, but it would be a good idea if I didn’t have to put on my Parent Hat. If it’s the first time meeting clients, you can put them off if you take charge too quickly and tell the kids to stop that…but I would say, if you’re going to bring your little ones, make sure that they have some rules about touching other people’s things. I have to watch out for my sellers as well as my buyers, and trying to answer questions about a home, while keeping one eye on the kids running around in other rooms can be a daunting task. Not to mention distracting! My suggestion: if you have more than one adult with you, designate someone to be watching over the kids while the other asks questions about the property. Then, trade off. Parents know their children best and probably know their hot buttons, so if one parent is better at curtailing bad behavior early on, that might be the one to start with.
Best case scenario: adults come first and scope out the community at Fishhawk Lake, then come back and bring the kids for the thumbs up on the return visit.
Call or e-mail Gayle today for your own private tour of Fishhawk Lake properties for sale.
This article first posted on ActiveRain November 5, 2013.