There have been reports of a team of thieves that are going to Open Houses and stealing what they can find. Usually, it’s the wallet of the agent doing the Open House. There are 3 of them, 2 woman and a man. When they come into the Open House, they separate and one of them distracts the agent.
That’s the risk you take with an Open House where you invite strangers into your home to freely roam around. If you have an Open House, remove EVERY valuable you have that can be easily picked up. Medicines are always a popular target as they are easy to stick in a pocket or purse.
Open Houses are good for agents to try to pick up Buyers but they rarely end up selling the particular home that is the Open House. With phones ringing less and less in offices (the Internet is causing this), the agents that don’t have that much business are turning to Open Houses to try to find those Buyers. That’s the reason why most Open Houses are not done by the Listing Agent, but by another agent in the office that really isn’t that familiar with your home.
So, should you do Open Houses if you’re trying to sell your home? My opinion is that if you don’t mind the inconvenience of vacating your home and letting unqualified strangers into it, why not? If you do, make sure that the Listing Brokerage has a lot of agents so chances are high that there will be some agent willing to sit in your home for 4+ hours on a weekend day waiting for people to show up.
But, an Open House is NOT one of the main marketing tools to sell YOUR house. If an Agent puts that as one of their main bullets of their marketing service, you need to find an Agent that knows how to sell a home in today’s market.
Now if you have a home that a ton of people would come by to see on an Open House (because of location or some other attraction), you should get something in return from the Listing Brokerage if your home generates a bunch of Buyer leads for a Brokerage. Ask for a reduction in commission if you agree to let your home be used as a Lead Generator for Agents, which is really what Open Houses are used for.