In the past, the open house was one of the primary tools that real estate agents used to sell homes. That's no longer the case. According to a real estate lawyer CT the widespread use of online real estate listings, video tours, and other digital sales tools have made an open house redundant. Buyers today usually start their home search online and then let an agent know what listings they want to see. That's why these days many agents don't hold open houses. Most industry experts like real estate lawyers CT and real estate agents who have seen the industry change dramatically in the last ten years say that these are the reasons why open houses are no longer necessary:
Holding an open house can cost a lot in both money and the real estate agent's time. When an open house is advertised the agent has to stay for the entire advertised time even if no one shows up. That can mean an entire weekend day or weekday evening that is lost. Additionally, there are the financial costs of printing brochures and other sales sheets, providing food and drinks, cleaning the home, staging the home, and other costs that can add up to quite a bit of money. According to a real estate lawyer CT the cost of holding an open house is prohibitive for many sellers and agents.
Another drawback to holding open houses is the potential for damage to the home. When people come through the home, they could cause much damage to the home in just a short amount of time, especially if they have children or pets with them. Even relatively minor things like having to get carpets recleaned because people tracked dirt through the home or having walls repainted because of smudges, handprints, or other damage can cost money and time without getting the sellers any closer to getting a legitimate offer on the home.
Holding an open house lets everyone in the area know that the home is unoccupied and that can make the home a target for vandalism, theft, and break-ins. It's not uncommon for homes to have open houses to end up being burglarized later on after the thieves have visited the home and learned the floor plan and what items are in the home. There is a big market for things like reclaimed wood, copper plumbing, and high-end finishings. Thieves will often break-in to a home they know is empty to take upgraded finishings and other items that they can sell quickly. The home could also be damaged in the break-in and end up with broken windows, broken locks, or kicked in doors that need to replace. If you talk to a real estate lawyer CT they will often recommend not holding an open house due to the risks.
Ask any real estate lawyer CT or real estate agent with years of experience, and they will tell you that open houses don't sell homes anymore. Across the US open houses only result in a sale 2-3% of the time. That's a very low return on the financial investment of holding an open house. Home sellers are much better off putting their effort and their money into using online sales tools like state of the art video tours to sell their home.