First, let me say that I am a proponent of open houses. They are always successful if your standard is providing more exposure for your seller. I believe that the more people see a home for sale, the better chance it has to sell. With that said, let me tell you what really worked this weekend...
I listed a home 2 weeks ago and as usual planned an open house. I advertised the open house on the MLS systems as well as in social media. This time, however, I also printed up some nice 3 fold invitations with pictures of the home, and sent it to 45 neighbors surrounding the listed home. The invitation suggested that the open house would be open 1/2 hour earlier than the public time, just so the neighbors could come and see their friends who have moved to a new home.
Several showed up on a wet, dreary day, toured the home, and took with them marketing materials from the home. The sellers were pleased to see and talk to some good friends again, and the home was successfully marketed to a street full of people. One couple talked to me about themselves looking to sell in a year or so.
Bottom line, sellers had fun talking to good friends, home was exposed to 45 home owners on the street, and probably 1000's through social media. In my book, that is a successful open house.