I’m pretty busy helping my clients to plan springtime sales right now and more than a few have asked if I’d recommend arranging an ‘Open House’ for viewings.

Open Houses can be a very effective way of attracting collective interest in the sale of a property at the outset of marketing, especially if the place is empty and in need of modernising, where there’s no security risk and it doesn’t matter too much if there’s three or four interested parties wandering around with their outside shoes on.

I’ve always enjoyed hosting these events, although one caught me right off my guard a few years ago. Although the advertised time for viewings was from 2pm, I arrived five minutes early to open up and pull back the curtains.

As I approached the house, I was taken aback to see both sides of the road outside lined with parked cars, with twenty or so people milling around the gardens and at least a dozen more waiting by the gate.

My sense of duty to my clients insisted I resist the temptation to turn the car and scarper, so with a sharp intake of breath and somewhat of a forced smile, in I went, followed by the hoard. I’d never seen anything like it before, nor have I since. Singles, couples and families galore wandered inside and out, round and round, upstairs and down.

It should have been an estate agents dream but it was all a bit of a nightmare as one after another, keen to strike a deal, fired at me, ‘How much will they take?’ or ‘I’ll pay the asking price’!

Very fortunately I had a get out clause, which was to direct them back to the office where my welcoming team of negotiators would be delighted to field their offers!

All that took place during a ‘Boom’ period and although Open House days can still prove worthwhile, unless you’re selling your house for a song, you’ll not get a turn out like that!

Chris Willey is an Independent Property Appraiser and welcomes sale related enquiries on Taunton 01823 412661