With many houses languishing on the market for extended periods of time, vendors and Real Estate Agents are coming up with all sorts of inventive ways to sell homes.
For some, buying into the lifestyle is important and we recently read about Sydney Real Estate agent Braden Walters who along with his clients, created social media accounts and a blog for the property they were trying to sell.
All this comes on the back of the news of a Melbourne man who sold his small Northcote property, for $135,000 above the reserve, by utilising social media and creating a Twitter handle, Facebook page and blog .
In NSW’s Southern Highlands, a historical café and residence is about to go under the hammer in what is believed to be the area’s first “reverse” auction – effectively this means it will start at the highest price and the auctioneer will go down in increments until a bidder accepts. There can only be one first and final bid. The vendor does have a minimum price and can stop the auction if the bidding gets too low.
An added incentive is for the person who introduces the vendor to the final purchaser and is eligible for a $10,000 finders’ fee.
In the UK, things looked so dire in some areas that vendors were selling raffle tickets. A thousand £150 tickets gives the vendor their asking price on a 150k property, and gives potential purchasers a relatively high chance of winning a cheap new home. Unfortunately for vendors Down Under, this method of sale is not legal in Australia.
In the US, sellers have resorted to letting potential purchasers sleep over, so they can see if there’s any ambient noises and how it is to live in the home. In an even more bizarre sales pitch, some US agents have hired house sitters to live in vacant homes or look like an aspirational family or, even more strangely, have actors to play the part of the wider community during open house inspections.
It seems things got so dire in the US, that agents regularly offered incentives like free gas or rates for the first year, or even a free holiday, or in one case, “a free lakeside house” with a $405,000 pontoon boat purchase. (apparently that was just to draw crowds, and the agent eventually sold the house but not the boat!)
Swapping lives is picking up too. This is where owners can literally saw homes and lives, and in some cases one party may need to pay a bit extra, but it is a simple idea gaining traction. In the US there are even sites for it such as goswap.org (see this one in Arizona).
Even in Australia it is happening with this blog recently hearing of a family looking to upsize to Acreage and selling their investment property to a single mother looking to downsize after a separation. With the money covering the difference between big and small, the mother was able to pay out her ex, and only needed a small mortgage which is much more manageable on a single income.
There are so many ways to make a house stand out in a stagnant market, and who knows, some of them might even make selling your house a fun process instead of a daunting one.