Mike Hartshorne of DFH Real Estate Ltd. said open houses can offer a level of convenience for both sellers and buyers that private showings may not.

HOMEFINDER: Open houses offer flexibility for buyers and sellers

You never know who might fall in love with your home

Sometimes it can be tough to attract potential buyers and separate your home from numerous other listings.

A common tool realtors and sellers choose to show their home to potential buyers is an open house. This tool may not be for everyone, says Mike Hartshorne of DFH Real Estate says, but it’s definitely a marketing strategy about which sellers and their agents should have a conversation.

Where private showings are limited to one potential buyer at a time, open houses can be helpful in generating a lot of traffic through a home that is new on the market.

This can make them more convenient for potential buyers who may have trouble scheduling private viewings or just want to browse on their day off.

Buying a home “can be very busy and stressful in a hot market,” Hartshorne said, adding open houses can help take some of that stress away.

They can also be more convenient for sellers, as they are usually scheduled with several days’ notice, giving homeowners more time to prepare and make sure their home looks its best.

Often, he said, private showings are booked with little warning, making it hard for homeowners to be prepared.

Since open houses are usually scheduled for two to three hours at a time, they can also offer more flexibility, especially for buyers who have a busy schedule of private showings.

“If you’re running out of time, you may just skip something,” Hartshorne said. But for open homes, “if you’re 15 minutes earlier or later, it’s not a big deal,” making them easier to get to.

However, of that traffic generated by open houses, many visitors may not be as interested as someone who has booked a private showing.

“Some people feel it’s just neighbours or looky-loos,” he said. “You can’t really qualify them.”

Although, you never know if one of those looky-loos might fall in love with your home.

“You can get drop-ins who didn’t know they were looking,” Hartshorne said, noting he’s even sold several homes to people who had no intention of looking or buying and just dropped in on a whim.

With the mild climate on the West Shore and the rest of Greater Victoria helping to avoid the peaks and valleys in the real estate market experienced by other areas, Hartshorne said open houses usually run all year round.

Although, he said during busy holiday seasons or if the weather is uncharacteristically bad, there may not be as many. He expects a number to pop up in the spring.


Q: How do I make my open house more enticing for potential buyers?

Making sure potential buyers earmark attending your open house, on top of the numerous other options they might have on the go in a given day, can be a challenge.

Mike Hartshorne of DFH Real Estate said “the general impression of the home should be (that) it’s clean, in good repair and perhaps smelling nice.”

Homeowners should go through a little more effort to declutter than they would for a private showing. Sometimes putting away everyday items, such as those normally left on a kitchen counter, can go a long way toward making a home feel more open and spacious. He suggested putting away coffee makers, mixers and other appliances that may not normally go in a cupboard, to help make counter tops seem more spacious.

“By not having too many things on display, it helps them envision their belongings,” he said.

As for first impressions, he added, the front door should not show any visible signs of wear. “I always like to have something by the door.” Having a plant, flower, or enticing piece of art near a doorway can be a good idea, as often crowds can linger by the doorway when an open house is busy.

One last tip for sellers is to protect items that may be special to them. “It’s never recommended you leave valuables in plain sight,” Hartshorne said, recommending to safely store any items with monetary or sentimental value.


» 539 / 351 — NET UNCONDITIONAL SALES / TOTAL,  January 2015

» 934 / 1,027 –NEW LISTINGS / TOTAL,  January 2015

» 2,471 / 3,283 — ACTIVE RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS / TOTAL, January 2015

Just Posted

Bear sightings historically rare in Langford: City staff

51 bear complaints or sightings in last year

Mental health walk/run aims to outpace depression

Walk increased to 5k, run to 10k

Autism support dog helps Langford boy hold his head high

Family shares story for Autism Awareness Month

Give your immunity a boost for National Immunization Awareness Week

Immunize Canada calls on Canadians to stay up to date with their immunizations

Families hop over to Easter celebrations at Millstream Village

Annual Easter Eggstravaganza had lineups before 11 a.m.

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Most Read