Open Houses Puzzle British Home Buyers

The English newspaper the Financial Times had an (inadvertently) quaint article on Friday about "a sales technique known as the open house."

Obviously written for a British audience, the article cracked me up with lines such as: "To succeed, the practice needs a pro-active realtor or vendor to whip up enthusiasm among prospective purchasers, who all inspect the property at the same time and – spurred on by rubbing shoulders with rival buyers – are encouraged to make above-market offers to make sure the home does not slip from their grasp."

Apparently, they don't hold open houses in the U.K. -- ever.

But why not? The Sunday open house is an American tradition, the first stop for many tentative home buyers on the way to making a real bid.

Should the lack of the practice in England make home buyers in this country reconsider their value?