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Investment-Real-Estate

Open house the right way

Open houses are vital for both buyers and sellers, but are seen as awkward or uncomfortable.

Open houses are often what lead to on the spot sales, bidding wars, and can open your eyes to what you're really looking for in a home.

We’re here to make it less awkward. With the help of Andrew Dorn from realtor.com, who went to seven open houses in one weekend, we rounded up the dos and don’ts of both hosting and attending open houses.

Open houses are a huge part of both the buying and selling process. You might be hesitant to host or attend one because they can be painfully awkward.

Walking around your potential new home with a real estate agent following you from room to room isn't the most comfortable experience, especially if there are parts of the home you don't like or the home is in not-so-great condition. 

As a buyer, this is your time to finally see what that home you bookmarked online looks like in person. 

As a seller, this is your moment to make your home look special and showcase what you have loved most about your home over the years.

When done right, open houses can lead to on the spot sales, bidding wars, and can open your eyes to what you're really looking for in a home.

Buyer Tips

If you are a potential buyer going to open houses in hopes of finding your next home, you'll need to be prepared for a few red flags to look out for. You should also go into the open house with a few pointers and questions to ask.

If the home you're going to is one you have been looking at online, then you probably already know a little bit about the property. Even if you've lived in or around the same town the home is in, there are still a few questions you should have prepared to get a true sense of the house and the area.

Get The Positives and Negatives

Ask the real estate agent what the positives and negatives are about the home that you should know.

If they are honest (which they should be!), knowing potential problems about the home or neighbourhood are better to know upfront than later down the line.

Learn More About The Neighbourhood

Ask them what they think of the area - is it up and coming, more of a younger or older community, what service prices or HOA fees are there? This real estate agent is the local expert of the area. Let them share their expertise with you.

Ask questions about the history of the neighbourhood, what it's like now, and what the next five years will look like. 

Ask About Other Properties

Finally, you should always ask the real estate agent if they know of any similar properties in the area that you might be interested in. If this isn’t the one for you, but you’re looking for a home with the same amount of bedrooms, the agent should be able to help you out.

Seller Tips

Whether you're selling your home on your own and hosting an open house, or working with a real estate agent to host one for you, there are a few tips that can make or break how your home looks in the eyes of potential buyers.

Clean Up! 

As Andrew approached one of the seven homes, right above the front door was a little perch where birds could sit. It's a great thought, but when he looked down there was bird poop all over the concrete that enters into the door. 

“It makes me sick," he said."I actually had to kind of take a hop step and jump over it so I wouldn't get the bird stuff on the bottom of my shoes.”

This is the buyer's first impression of your home. If potential buyers get a bad taste in their mouth from the front porch, then the expectations are set before they even walk through the door.

Remove Any Signs of Pets

Almost everyone loves pets, but that doesn’t mean that everyone likes to see where they live — and go to the bathroom. As Andrew walked into a bathroom in one of the homes, he saw what he thought was a trash can which actually was a kitty litter box. After an even closer look, he noticed a mark left by the kitty. 

In the kitchen, there was a beautiful vase of flowers on the counter. It was a great and simple touch to add to the open house; however, next to the vase was a small Tupperware container with what seemed to be little brown round things, which again belonged to a cat. It was cat food. 

“If you look at it, I promise you, I think some people would pick it up and say I wonder if this is chocolate.”

Stage Your Home!

Buyers expect tip-top shape and for your home to be show-ready. Out of the seven open houses that Andrew attended, only one or two of them seemed to be actually ready for potential buyers to look at.

Stage the home accordingly to make it look livable. If it’s a home for a family, stage it to look like a family would live there, but also make sure it's neat and clean.

Open houses can be awkward, so if you'd rather avoid the awkwardness all together, we can schedule a private showing of your dream home.

Let's Talk



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About the Author

AJ is the owner of Kelowna’s downtown boutique firm, Vantage West Realty. The firm takes pride in breaking the mould when it comes to how they practice real estate. With a well-deserved reputation as a real estate renegade, Hazzi has been shaking up the Kelowna real estate scene since 2002.

Having been a student of real estate through two market cycles, AJ has come to see an absence of truly qualified professionals specializing in investment real estate. This has become AJ’s role within the firm and the community: To educate clients on how to achieve financial freedom through real estate.

Arming his clients with knowledge on where to find positive cash-flow, how to renovate for profit, and other creative avenues that most agents completely ignore, Hazzi has carved out his niche as a real estate investment advisor (REIA), and loves nothing more than educating people on the right strategy to capitalize on both boom and bust years.  AJ is a firm believer that the Kelowna market is rich with opportunity, if one knows where to look.

If you are in search of an advisor who practices what they preach, consider that AJ has built his own real estate portfolio up to include multi and single family cash-flow rental properties, development property, resort property, fix and flips, and commercial properties. By sharing the lessons learned from his own experiences, his clients get the knowledge and confidence to invest without having to make the expensive mistakes he and many new investors have made along the way.

His goal is to impart on people, especially of the X and Y generation, that depending on RRSPs and Government Pension Plans to look after us down the road is risky business. Most people don't realize that as little as one or two properties added to your real estate portfolio now, can secure a comfortable, even lavish, retirement.

Bringing a consultant's approach rather than the tired, old-fashioned sales approach, AJ and his partners offer a world class service from finding, pre analyzing, and negotiating your next acquisition, to property management, all tailored to today’s busy investor.

To hear what AJ Hazzi's clients have to say about his service view the testimonials.

Contact Information

For more details or to reach AJ Hazzi, please visit www.vantagewestrealty.com

Email [email protected] Cell 250.864.6433



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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