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Selling and Buying with Children

10 Tips for First Time Buyers

When it comes to selling your property, at times it can be a stressful experience. Throw children into the mix and you find what was already a juggling act becomes even more challenging!

Here at Cameron Stephen & Co. solicitors and estate agents in Edinburgh, we have lots of experience in helping families through the process of moving home. Here are our top tips for survival:

Solicitors Meetings

  • When it comes to selling your property, and purchasing a new home, you’ll find that at some point or another you will need to attend a solicitor’s office for face-to-face meetings. Often this can be difficult with your own working schedules but with childcare it can be even more of a juggle. If you can find a solicitor which offers evening or weekend appointments this can be a big help. Not only can this work better for your own busy schedule, it usually means their office will be quieter too and if you need to bring the kids, you can concentrate on the matter at hand, without being distracted that your kids are disturbing other meetings too. And don’t worry, you’ll not be the first person buying and selling with kids – we’ve seen it all before!


  • When selling your property, arranging viewings may best be done during school hours to allow potential buyers the opportunity to view your property, without running the risk of making your children feel unsettled with strangers coming and going through their home. Allowing your estate agent to access your property whilst you are at work and your children are at school is a great way to let viewings happen without your kids being disturbed. Evening and weekend viewings can also be arranged around times in which your kids may be out at friends or attending clubs/classes.
  • When preparing your property for viewings, it can be tempting to rid your home of signs of children living there, as not to put-off potential buyers. Avoid this for the sake of your children! We obviously recommend a good tidy and declutter (if nothing else but to make your move more bearable too!) but don’t hide the fact you have children living there otherwise you risk causing your children undue stress before you’ve even started the moving process. Yes, you may end up with buyers who don’t have children but that’s not to say the existence of your children will be off-putting to them. They are aware that you currently live there after all!
  • When buying a new property, we often find that parents resort to coming to separate viewings – usually in the evenings – while one stays at home with the kids. The risk with this (particularly in Edinburgh;s fast-moving market) is that one of you falls in love with the property but by the time a second viewing for the other parent can be arranged, you’ve already missed out. If at all possible, we would always recommend you arrange child care which will allow you both to view a property in the first instance. Again, you’ll often find evening and weekend viewings are available too if you’re unable to attend during school/working hours.

Let them have an input

  • Although the above may seem as though it’s all about doing the property buying and selling on the sly, it’s also good to allow your children to have a say in it all – even if it doesn’t actually hold any real influence! Moving home is a big change for kids too and by letting their voice be heard, it can help ease their stresses and anxieties, which in turn will lower yours too.
  • Be positive about moving to your kids. It can be easy to let your stresses of moving show but try to avoid this around your kids. It’s amazing how much kids pick up on and if you appear to be negative about the whole experience, they are likely to see moving home as a bad thing. Keep it positive and be open about the reasons you are moving (more space, better location)
  • Let them see their new home. It might not always be practical to allow your children to view a property before you move in but you can allow them to see photos and floor plans before moving day. Allow them choose their own room (where possible) and let their imagination go wild with their plans to decorate & where their belonging will go. This will help them become more settled to the idea of being in a new home, as well as leaving their current home behind.
  • If relocating to a new area, spend some time there before moving too. Visit new schools together, even showing them the new walk from your new home to their new school. Join local sports/classes/groups to allow them to make new friends in the area. Play at parks and do some exploring, making it a positive experience that will excite them to have all this new fun on their door step.
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