Who really benefits from open houses?

 Home sellers wake up early, scrub, vacuum and straighten the house. Real estate agents put up open house signs, run ads in the local paper and send out announcements to the neighbours. Then, the sellers pack up their things and leave the comfort of their home, hoping and praying that someone will buy it at the open house.
 
Open houses were a traditional tool for marketing homes for sale. Who actually benefits from an open house? Do real estate agents really expect to sell your home through an open house? Or, are they simply trying to impress you and the neighbors and hoping to pick up new buyers to sell other homes? Let's take a closer look.
 
Open houses rarely sell houses.
Few sellers understand that an open house usually does not sell that particular property. 
 
Open houses benefit agents.
Real estate agents pick up buyers at open houses. It's a tradition in the real estate industry. Hold an open house. Meet some good buyers. Take them out to look at homes. Make a sale. New real estate agents are the ones who usually hold open houses. Seasoned, professional agents are too busy listing and selling properties to hold open houses.
 
Open houses are a security risk.
If a stranger knocked on your door and asked to come into your home would you let him in? Of course not! Yet at open houses, real estate agents open the doors of your home to strangers without knowing anything about them or their background. It's impossible to keep an eye on open house attendees at all times. There's also an element of danger for the agent sitting alone at an open house with the public free to enter at will. There's no way to know whether a visitor is a serious buyer, just curious or has more sinister motives.
 
Open houses attract nosey neighbours and browsers.
One of the jobs of a professional real estate agent is to qualify prospective buyers for your home. So why open up your house to the general public? Ask your agent and they will admit that most drop-ins at open houses are totally unqualified and are there for reasons other than purchase a home.
 
Most agents and sellers are against open houses.
Sellers seem relieved when told there will be no open houses. The falling favour of public open houses may be attributable to new marketing techniques including Internet web sites and virtual tours.
 
SUMMARY:  The availability of the MLS on the Internet makes open houses less important in today's marketplace. Using the Internet, prospective buyers can screen homes for sale more safely and more efficiently than going to open houses.