The idea of an open house revolves around property that craves exposure — either it’s new on the market or hasn’t attracted interest as yet.

In some cases, the homes may include interior niceties or special features that can’t be seen from outside. Swinging open the doors to draw in home seekers for a few hours can be just the kind of publicity to bump the house from sales challenge to under contract.

A completed structure isn’t even a requirement for this fall’s Harvest Tour of Homes open house event today and Sunday, sponsored by The Post and Courier. There are 35 properties in all. As an added bonus, each home will receive a sign-in sheet for consumers to register for a chance to win a $100 American Express card.

At least one “open” property will be a lot in Meggett; the owner plans to pitch a tent to meet with prospects. In another case on Daniel Island, the house remains under construction. While most of the open houses involve Realtors, a few homes available to the public will be for sale by the owners.

Linda Laird, for one, sounds excited. The agent with Carolina Homes and Land intends to display 1507 Wakendaw Road in Mount Pleasant to house shoppers.

“It’s just been listed in the past two weeks,” Laird says.

She wants to open the house because the dwelling in the Candlewood neighborhood underwent a wholesale restoration this year. According to Laird, all that remained of the residence before the renovation was concrete block and brick exterior and an updated roof that’s three-years-old.

What’s new at the house includes:

• Floors and floor joists.

• Exterior work.

• Revamped interior.

• Lighting.

• Sheet rock.

• Heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

• A deck.

“We are better-than 90 percent new construction,” Laird says. “It’s like brand new.”

Builder-owner Richard Funderburk installed hardwood floors, granite countertops and new French doors. His crew built in extra attic insulation. Warranties were upgraded to 12 years on maintenance, eight years for the HVAC system, five years on appliances, one-year termite bond and a full 100 years on the Bella-brand oak hardwood floors.

The home lists for $279,500.

“If I can get people in there (they’ll see) this is quality,” Laird says.

Karen Kuhn intends to open a house, at 1262 Joshua Drive in the Lenevar neighborhood, that belonged to her grandmother.

She says the biggest attraction revolves around her grandmother’s neatness. “For a 53-year-old house,” the property’s in top-notch shape. Other perks include a sprinkler system and an intercom, installed in the early 1960s, that plays AM radio (She thinks it can be upgraded). Kuhn promises to play the radio at the open house, even though it will likely be talk radio.

Kuhn says she chose the open house route to boost exposure. “I think mostly it’s an opportunity to get traffic through it, so I’m not by myself out there (marketing the house),” she says.

The homeowner is comfortable with a FSBO, noting that she bought two homes on her own and sold one that way.

With open houses Saturday and Sunday, “I’m hoping people will come through,” she says.

An house on the tour that’s among the farthest from the Charleston area stands a 1 Santee Lakes Court in Elloree. Karen Hardman, Realtor with Santee Associates Realty, says the three bedroom, 2,000 square foot property touts 1.3 acres of land beside a sizable lake. Located with a half mile of the Lake Marion boat landing, the house sports cathedral ceilings, a three-bay garage with workshop and an attached garage. It’s priced at $299,000.

It’s just the kind of place for an open house, too: “Must see to appreciate,” she says.

Homes can be viewed all over the three county area and beyond. For a list, go to the Harvest Tour of Homes page in the Saturday Real Estate section of The Post and Courier or visit

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or