# 9 – How the first Open House went!

Now that was a busy Open House! We had over 50 people through 28 Spyglass — quite possibly the busiest Open House I’ve ever held. A good number of visitors were neighbours who came in to take a peek at what we’d been doing,  or to compare this unit to theirs, but I think that’s great. 

It’s important as a realtor not to forget to market to neighbours:  some of them may be looking to stay in the area but want a bigger (or smaller) home. At least three of the couples who came through fell in that category; another person came to look on behalf of a friend who was out of town. And people who live nearby are great at word-of-mouth; they may have friends who are looking, too. 

I was thinking of doing a special Open House for the neighbours but I had so many through that I’m not sure it’s needed. And it was very helpful for me to find out what they think of that condo complex (they love it).

It was great to have two realtors from the Royal LePage Team Realty Stittsville office (Bill Moore and Tara Collier) stop by. They’ve already booked showings with clients, which is fantastic! I hadn’t met them in person before, so enjoyed putting faces to names. Both Bill and Tara have listings nearby. They popped by just before the Open House started (they were conducting their own Open Houses that day as well, so had to run) but I was able to walk them around and show them what we’ve been doing.

It was also useful to meet Bill and Tara for another reason. I had been told by the estate that the owner was responsible for the roof in this particular complex: they, however, told me that in fact the condo corporation is responsible for replacing the roofs, and also the garage doors.

I’m taking steps to verify that information with the Property Management company (not that I doubt that’s the case, but as realtors, we’re required to personally verify all information we put in a listing). I’ll also check into who takes care of the siding and deck as well: these were questions asked at the Open House that I didn’t know the answers to.

The feedback at the Open House was tremendous. “Beautiful home.” “Shows really well.” “Love the kitchen.” “Look at those views!” And from one woman who spent quite a lot of time there with her husband: “I absolutely love it!” People commented positively on the staging, on the updating and almost everyone had something to say about the size. (This bungalow is huge). Many said how deceptive it was from the street; that once inside, it was so much bigger than it looked.

Some people really loved the English pub in the basement and would leave it just the way it is. Others said they would redo the whole basement if they bought the house, but everyone commented on the great flow and again, those incredible views and the privacy.

In fact, the only real negative I heard was from a couple  hoping to downsize who found the house too big for their needs; even bigger than the house they’re planning to downsize from. (A few mentioned the fact that the home had an electric furnace, but no one seemed put off by that, given the price: most were calculating what it would cost them to update the unit completely and put in a gas furnace.)

What was really nice was that a number of family members also dropped by to see what we’d done. It was really lovely to meet them. It’s obvious that this house was extremely well-loved and has many happy memories associated with it; one said seeing it staged  for sale helped give her a little closure. I was extremely happy that they liked the changes we’d made, although I know how emotional it all was for them at the same time.

My direct client seems happy too, and that’s what it’s all about. Today, having sent the link to the photographs and reported to the Open House to Heather Richardson at TD Waterhouse, who is handling the estate for the beneficiaries, I got this lovely email back.  (I’ve already passed Heather’s comments onto Micheline Masson, the home stager who did such an incredible job):

“Hi Peggy – the pictures are fantastic — you have no real appreciation of the difference professional staging can make until you see it with your own eyes! You’ve done an awesome job and I’ll be sharing this experience at our branch meeting this week and encouraging my colleagues to contact you when the opportunity arises.”  

All-in-all, with feedback like that, I’d have to say the Open House was a success!

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