Open houses–do they truly benefit the seller?

That question has been debated for decades, and if I asked 10 people I’d likely get 10 different answers. Here’s my position.
In my 12 years, I’ve conducted well over a 1000 open houses…not one sold as a result of the open house. Not one.
Open houses benefit agents…there, I said it. They drive potential buyer clients to them, buyers that may or may not buy “your home”…but they’ll buy “a home.” I can attest to that. I have picked up many buyer clients via open houses, but as I’ve already stated, none of them bought the house I met them at.
Consider this…statistically, less than 1% of homes are sold solely because the buyer attended an open house. Less than 40% of buyers even attend an open house at all. Effectively, that means that you are opening your house to “anyone who wants to attend,” without knowing their qualifications or intent, for a slim chance at getting a sale.
Unfortunately, open houses can draw the wrong crowd. Crime is on the rise at open houses…and they’re looking for valuables, prescription drugs, personal documents, etc.-It’s also very difficult for one or even two agents to be able to monitor the activity of every person that tours your home during an open house-I’ve had as many as 20 people in at one time, and couldn’t possibly monitor every single one of them. Why subject yourself unnecessarily to that level of risk for a 1% chance to sell your home? In my opinion, there are more effective ways to sell your home, without the exposure.
Hire the right agent who is going to be able to market your home to qualified buyers, and be able to control the access so that only the right people are inside your home…for the right reasons. You want traffic, but you also want the “right” traffic.

That said, I will do open houses if the client insists, subject to a prior review of my concerns noted above.