Do open houses work to sell a home or are they a waste of time? If I had a dollar for every time this was asked, I would retire.
Open houses really do work! The reason is simple, people want to look without being pressured. If your neighbor wants a look inside your house, they probably will not ask you. However, they might know of someone who wants to live in their neighborhood. So having the house open to all, gives them the opportunity to pop in and get a look around.
The buyers I work with are generally looking at homes on the weekend. So, it makes sense to go see them all in a day of open houses. It also helps them with remembering the differences between houses since they are looked at one after another.
Having all the buyers look at the same time is also an advantage to the seller. Buyers that like the house will feel a twinge of worry at seeing all the other buyers looking. This is definitely good for holding prices up for owners.
Open houses are great for controlling the showings on your listing also. Sellers can get weary from random showings at all hours. This is the most effective way to get the most people through a home for sell and assure it is looking its best when seen.
If you are thinking about listing your home, remember that open houses are extremely effective and a buyer that wants to see it, will likely stop by at least once. If you are lucky, your very first open house will put you right into escrow.