I've recently had some interesting conversations about sellers and open houses. Although for years many were told that Open Houses are the way to sell a home, the times are changing.


At every listing presentation we chat about hosting an open house. I'm always happy to host one as it means more exposure for your home potentially and for me. I honestly meet lots of great folks looking for a home that I end up assisting after meeting them at an open house. However, it is often not the home I am hosting.

 

Why? Because folks often view open houses out of curiosity. It may not be the right price point, style or they may not yet be ready to buy a home. Many visitors are neighbours just curious to see your home. When I greet those visiting my open house at the door I always ask if the visitors saw the listing online or the signs. I keep a tally and it lets me know how many were looking at the home in particular or just out to see what was available to view that day.

Folks often start their purchase process by checking out open houses to find out what their money can buy and what property costs in various areas. Online listings take people so far and then it is time to see homes in person. I've also met quite a few visitors that see open houses as a fun Saturday afternoon activity.

Can open houses allow people to see a home they may have not otherwise chosen to view and end up in a sale? Absolutely. It's just not the main path to sales success. Qualified buyers that are seriously looking to purchase are most often working with a Realtor and will book individual showings.

Pros of Hosting an Open House:
- additional visitors and exposure for your home
- many folks viewing at once to drum up excitement
- opportunity to chat with buyers about the home

Cons of Hosting an Open House
- security regarding theft or potential theft
- security regarding privacy
- nosy neighbours

Will I happily host an open house for you? Absolutely. But I always ask that you please lock your valuables and private items away. Understand that there is a balance between pros and cons and make a decision based on your personal risk tolerance. At the end of the day, I have the same goal as my sellers. Obtain maximum exposure for a given property while respecting their safety, security and privacy.

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As Calgary has grown and changed over the years, the type of property being built has also changed. We now see many more apartment and multi-family options than ever before. Whether high rise apartments, low rise apartments, townhouses, villas or detached homes, the concept of condo ownership is a very large part of the market.

 

Condo corporations typically have by-laws that determine some rules and guidelines for ownership to manage the goings on at any particular building or complex. Common rules are typically to maintain the safety and enjoyment of all owners such as rules about what can be stored in a parkade, what can be on a balcony and restrictions of use.

 

One big rule that is becoming an issue in my mind is pet restrictions.

 

More and more properties are either restricting all pets outright or else limiting pets by size of animal or type of animal. A typical example is no dogs over 20 pounds. This makes sense in some instances, but in others its tough. Many older Calgarians are moving from detached homes to condos in order to reduce costs and many have beloved pets which are family to them. In order to move to affordable homes, they have to give up their dogs. These dogs in many cases provide companionship, a reason to get up for a daily walk and the social interaction and joy that can come from a trip to the park.

 

Yes, 2 large barking dogs in a small apartment can be a bad idea. But that's where pet rules and board approval of animals may be a better option than outright bans cause honestly a little small dog can cause a nuisance where a big great dane can go completely unnoticed taking a nap in a warm sunny corner.

 

Understanding pet policies and learning which condo corporations are open to welcoming new owners with pets is key when searching for your new home with your beloved dog.

 

If Calgary, as a city, wants to develop more dense multi family living options, then please take into consideration the consequence of these pet policies on our overall population.

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