Is it Time to Stop Open Houses?

I was reading a message thread on a Realtor message board about Open Houses. The question raised is if it’s time to stop doing Open Houses. Here are the reasons why it may be time:

1) In the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, Open Houses were a way Buyers went looking for houses. Today, around 1% of Buyers find their homes through an Open House.

2) Open Houses are a risk for homeowners that someone is going to steal items from the home. If you go to an Open House, the Realtor usually says to the visitors “feel free to look around” and sits on the couch. Even if the Realtor follows people around, people intending to steal work in groups and don’t stay together in a Open House.

3) Open Houses are a security risk for the Realtor sitting at the Open House. Some agents will not do Open Houses alone anymore.

Most everyone agrees that Open Houses are done to show the Seller that the agent is “doing something” to try to sell their home. Since most Realtors don’t have a strong marketing service, they need something to try to justify their commission.