Open houses are a debatable topic in Victoria. Sellers may be hesitant to clean their homes only to have their neighbours come through, and realtors® may think their time is more valuable elsewhere. But, believe it or not, open houses can be beneficial for buyers, sellers, and realtors®!
In this article, I address your most asked open house question, will there be cookies!? Just kidding. But you will find answers to some of your open house questions below.
Open houses in Victoria are usually listed a few days before the scheduled date online with sites such as realtor.ca and open houses victoria. As a prospective buyer, you will also see open houses advertised on local Realtors® social media platforms.
Also, on the day of the open house, many Realtors® will have their open house signs displayed outside. Just going for an afternoon weekend drive will point you in the right direction.
Open houses in Victoria are usually at least 2 hours. While they can be longer or shorter, 2 hours is a wide enough window to attract the most amount of potential buyers. If they’re too short, say less than an hour, it may not be convenient, and as a result, fewer people will go to that open house.
Open houses should be done within the first few weeks of a new listing, in addition to other marketing strategies, to get the maximum benefit.
Open houses do not need to be done every weekend, but a popular strategy is to time them when there are other open houses in the neighbourhood. Realtors® will try to schedule similar times to nearby listings to take advantage of prospective buyers looking at the other open houses in the area.
For sellers, it’s important to have an open mind and be flexible to accommodate open houses. First impressions are essential, so if you can, make sure your house is clean, remove unnecessary items, and it’s always a good idea to put valuables out of sight. Also, make sure the home is easy to access. If possible, make sure the driveway is clear for people to park easily.
Although open houses do require effort on the sellers’ part, the ultimate goal is to bring maximum exposure to your property. Even if the people attending the open house aren’t looking to buy at the moment, they may have friends or family looking to purchase a home just like yours!
Open houses are traditionally held on Saturdays and Sundays in the afternoon. Popular times are 12-2 p.m. or 2-4 p.m., but the times and days can vary based on the sellers’ convenience.
Occasionally open houses may take place on a weeknight in the late afternoon or early evening in hopes of attracting a different segment of buyers who may be leaving work. Who could say no to snacks and avoiding the evening traffic?
Open houses allow buyers to look at homes at their convenience. Depending on the weekend, they can have the flexibility to see a handful of houses without having to coordinate showings.
Also, they may have more time to explore the neighbourhood and surroundings. Perhaps, they will come across a home listed for sale that they hadn’t noticed previously online.
Open houses are also beneficial for new buyers who may be unfamiliar with the home search process. New home buyers can easily go into an open house to get an idea of what types of homes they would like to purchase without feeling pressured.
Often, the realtor® you meet at the open house may not be the listing agent. In BC, with the June 15th, 2018 ban on dual agency, it’s now common for an associate realtor® to hold the open house instead.
For new or even experienced realtors®, open houses are a great way to meet new buyers. More importantly, I have found open houses to be a unique platform to learn in-depth about different house styles, architecture, and neighbourhoods.
Finally, they provide an invaluable opportunity for realtors®, where you get to be face to face with prospective buyers and answer their real estate questions. In my experience, I have learned a lot about buyers’ needs and wants, which has helped me prepare for future client interactions.
Do you have any good open house stories!?
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*Disclaimer: The topics of discussion, content and resources on this website are general information that may not be the right solution or advice for you specifically. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract with a brokerage.
*Stock images from Social Squares