Kids: Cute or a Costly Distraction When Buying or Selling a Home?

Kids: Cute or a Costly Distraction When Buying or Selling a Home?

Just as I was about to snatch Captain America, snap him in half and bask in the glory of watching Damian lose his shit, mum said she would get back to me after she spoke to hubby.

When buying or selling a home, whether represented by an agent or you’ve decided to sell your own home, if you have young children, I suggest you read this story to ensure your attention is on a very important job – getting the deal done.

Firstly, let me qualify that I am father of three grown sons, who were very energetic toddlers and active growing children.

I understand the demand for attention that they possess and how adults can be easily distracted from any task by the actions of their little darlings.

I sorted this out very early on, when I had the ‘brainwave’ that I could work from home with my children present.

As soon as I would pick up the phone to do some business, my boys saw this as a green light to demand my attention.

From a simple “Dad, dad, dad….” to full blown tantrums when their attempts for attention were not met, I decided that important adult functions and interaction (making a living) were not going to be compromised by a three-year old thinking he is the centre of the Universe.

One day after quite a few, “Billy (name changed to protect the guilty), please be quiet, dads on the phone” pleadings, I calmly said to this client, “Can I call you back in just two minutes?” and terminated the call.

As I was pausing my conversation, I looked straight at my boy, and instantly he knew things were about to go down!

I ‘gently’ grabbed him by the hand, calmly walked him to his bedroom, sat him down and with my nose about 1cm from his, and blasted out like a Regimental Sergeant Major, “If you interrupt me on the phone once more I am going to knock your block off – get it.”

With that, the tears welled as he weighed up whether he might take one more stab at an untimely interruption or would he prefer his head remain in place in the middle of his shoulders.

The likelihood, in his mind, of the latter far outweighed the temptation of the former.

You’ll be happy to know that his current therapist said these images will fade by the time he is thirty-five.

I slowly shut the door and returned to the job of earning an income to feed, clothe and house my little scone grabbers.

“Hi, Sorry about that…”

Up until the time I realised working from home was not all that is was cracked up to be, disturbances from then on were few and far between.

I’m sure the recipient of my ‘tough love’ filtered word through to his siblings that if they want their heads to stay in their current location, don’t bug dad when he is on the phone.

Should you feel the need to report this parenting style to Child Services, they will not have any trouble tracking me down and the ‘victims’, my kids, will probably laugh at the Officers sent to investigate, and commence their own interrogation to find out what life is like as Public Servant.  (Trust me, my mob have been well schooled).

Now that you know I have been there, done that, got the tattoo, I can say with heartfelt sincerity to potential home buyers and sellers; if at all possible, if you have kids under, say, 10years old, try to have them looked after at home by an iPad or similar device, or leave them to visit a kind aunt, neighbour or grandparent if you are going to inspect one or any number of homes or attempt to sell your own home.

There is no way on earth you can calmly and diligently inspect or carry out an inspection of yours or any property with children wanting your attention or running wildly through the home.

I have met parents who are on the ‘Open Home’ or inspection trail with a couple of little darlings in tow, and if I struck them after about their fourth or fifth inspection, the parents looked like they’d been ten rounds with Mike Tyson, and the children were in a mind altered state of boredom, ratty tiredness or imminent starvation.

There is no possible way these intrepid buyers (or sellers for that matter) can make a logical decision and clear observations with the mayhem unfolding amongst the rug rats.

The only valid input that could be useful from a child accompanying their parent on an inspection is if the kid is going to sign the bloody cheque to buy the house!

An inspection I conducted on one particular home motivated me to write on this subject.

A three-year old boy, with perfectly workable and functioning legs, was bolted to the hip of his mother who was inspecting this home – and it didn’t take long for him to weave his evil and distracting magic

His grandmother was present, as was a brand new, still in the package 30cm Captain America doll which the little petal had firmly clenched in his arms.

Mum must have been on the Michelle Bridges 12 week challenge, because she schlepped that kid all over the house, up and down stairs, along with Captain America, for about 20-25 minutes. I was exhausted just watching her.

Each time mum wanted to ask me a question, and I was about to respond, her little angel would press the stomach of his mini Super Hero to enable the built-in speaker – “Avengers Assemble” or “Let’s go boys”. It was cute for about five seconds.

Anyway, at the end of the inspection, and with her muppet still attached to her hip along with Captain America, mum wanted to talk turkey about an offer.

Great.  She had quite a few questions, but ‘Damian’ had more presses in his finger than I had responses.

Each time I went to answer one of mum’s questions, the kid stared straight at me and pressed the button for Captain A to blurt out another call to arms.

It was hard to shift my gaze from mum, because if I had of gazed at Damian, my look would have set his head on fire and burned out his beady little eyeballs.

During this I kept thinking, “step in anytime grandma.  I’m sure there is a tree to show Damian in the backyard”.  But no, those bolts into to mum’s hip were tightened good and proper.

Grandma, although a lovely person was as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle and no help to me, or her daughter.

Just as I was about to snatch Captain America, snap him in half and bask in the glory of watching Damian lose his shit, mum said she would get back to me after she spoke to hubby.

Suffice to say, she didn’t follow through with an offer, because she probably didn’t hear a word I said during the three way conversation between her, me and Captain America.

In all seriousness, buying or selling a home is a serious business.

As a buyer, you need to look closely, take in all the important features, the nicks and bumps that the home may possess and decide if it represents value as a potential family castle.  And you will have questions you will want to ask the owner if they are selling privately. The little ones can run riot and listen to Captain America on the day you move in.

So, buyers, eliminate distractions, ask questions and take your time to look, in order to make the right choice for one of life’s biggest investments – your next home.

The same goes if you are selling your own property, be attentive to those who are inspecting and don’t get distracted by the little people who may inhabit your current home.

Bribery, threats and even some gentle torture might just give you the opportunity to concentrate for an hour or so and get a deal done.







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