Where is everyone? Picture: SuppliedFOR as long as I can remember, Saturday open homes have been a staple of the realty profession. I was taught to fish where the fish are and for many years weekend opens attracted most of the lookers.But in today’s fast-changing era many people actually work weekends, not to mention weekend sports with the kids, and consequently many struggle to get to the open house on Saturday or Sunday.So to be able to inspect a property at 6pm on their way home from work really offers a good option to the busy buyer.We are seeing more and more agents choosing to offer a mid-week afternoon or twilight open inspection.Some of our REIQ agents are even choosing to make the experience more memorable by offering a chilled glass of bubbles and some delicious cheeses. Slowly browsing through your new potential home with a nice glass of wine in hand is a nice way to buy property.Agents will, of course, still take private appointments but visiting a scheduled open home inspection puts less pressure on the buyer and less stress on the seller, who knows they only have to present the home once a week.More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020A common real estate profession expression suggests that you can never present a home too well. Simply put, every little bit of polish will be well worth it come contract time. The open home is still one of the most powerful selling tools.A great example of a little extra polish was a home we sold in Kelso, on the river, many years ago.The owners were a switched-on couple and the home had a beaut outdoor undercover entertainment area with a beautiful old fully functional wood stove at one end.For the open home, the seller fired the oven up, baked fresh damper in it and had a pot of coffee perking on the stove top.They served coffee and hot damper with syrup to all visitors. The smell of bread baking and fresh coffee brewing drifted through the home and visitors commented on the presentation and aromas.So whether we do opens on weekends or midweek, the key is to make an effort to do something a little special.Buying a home should be a happy and rewarding experience for all concerned.
Anyone breaking the regulations three times will be shamed on government websites. Beijing will ban smoking in restaurants, offices and on public transport from Monday.This tough new law has been celebrated by anti-tobacco advocates however many say its a challenge on how the law will be enforced.Health activists have pushed for years for stronger restrictions on smoking in China, the world’s largest tobacco consumer, which is considering further anti-smoking curbs nationwide.Under the rules, anyone in China’s capital who violates the bans, which include smoking near schools and hospitals, must pay 200 yuan ($32.25). The current fine, seldom enforced, is just 10 yuan ($1.60).A branch was found to have failed to publicise the hotline to report offenders and cigarette butts were found in the restaurant’s toilet, the report said.Lighting up in open areas near schools and hospitals is also banned.Anyone breaking the regulations three times will be named and shamed on city government websites.Restaurants could be fined up to 10,000 yuan for failing to stop people smoking indoors.The moves have been welcomed by anti-tobacco advocates, but some members of the public doubt whether the new rules will be enforced effectively.Users of social media websites said they saw people smoking in office buildings and in railway stations without being stopped on Monday morning.China has over 300 million smokers and over a million Chinese people die from smoking-related illnesses every year.Smoking bans already existed in China, but have largely failed to crack down on the habit.