Flyers, postcards, direct neighborhood mailing, agent emails, facsimile flyer sharing, and sign postings consume the time of the listing agent as they prepare for your home to be open to the public. Depending on the community involvement of your agent they may generate more interest in your home during a Civic, School or religious event where they are known and most likely trusted by the people whom they are associating with, maybe even where you first became known to the agent.
Open houses do work well for agents to develop a relationship with consumers just beginning the home search process or not yet represented by a real estate professional. So you see Open Houses do sell home, just not yours!
What DOES help sell homes--especially condos in run-down complexes where interior appeal is critical--is a Broker's Open House. When agents are shown a home's best features, they can match their benefits to their clients' needs...benefits they otherwise never might have recognized.
I can find no data that supports buyers findign homes through open houses. That does not mean that there is no data to support it, CAR simply does not have that question in their survey. http://www.car.org.
I will ask them to include that question in their next survey (2007).