Monday, July 31, 2006

Stupid House Sale Tactics

There are some things realtors will tell you not to do when trying to sell your house, like re-do the wallpaper (because wallpaper is a personal taste item).

Today's Potomac News tells of a tactic that I'm sure any realtor would laugh at, if they even THOUGHT someone might try it:

Just a month ago, a Manassas Park couple agreed to have their home filmed for a new HGTV series in which an expert Realtor assesses what renovations are necessary to make the house saleable in today's buyer market.

So far, so good -- that show seems to focus on items that, if fixed, would enhance the sales price beyond their costs. But then they took it one step too far:

Now Lake Ridge residents George and Susan Garrigan have bought a 2006 Toyota Corolla as a giveaway to whomever buys their 1969 split-level home and excited regional media attention by doing it. How it pans out, though, has yet to be seen.

How is this bad? Let me count the ways. First, what could be more of a personal taste item than a car? Second, what relationship could there possibly be between needing a house, and needing a car? Third, having PURCHASED the car, wouldn't that make it a used car, meaning it's already lost a good bit of its value before it's given over to the new owners.

I think you'd be better off adding a pool in the back yard. IT's still a TERRIBLE idea, but at least it's something some people are actually LOOKING for in a house. I've NEVER heard anybody say they were looking for a 2-car-garage with the car already IN it.

About the only thing this has going for it is the novelty value which got them a front-page article, as they knew this was taking a chance:

The couple, which has lived in that home for 28 years, knew what they were doing was a gamble. Both were certain it would distinguish their corner-lot Cohasset Lane home from the others on the market in their neighborhood. At the very least it would put a "second thought" in the minds of prospective buyers.

My guess is they expect to keep the car, and only made the "offer" to get more attention. The article suggests as much, as thier "next" strategy doesn't include the car at all:

No bidders means a new plan, though. Tivnan plans to have a "strategy meeting" with the Garrigans today. Tivnan said that they would likely decide to reduce the price and pay the closing cost.

So, was it just crazy, or crazy-like-a-fox? I guess we'll know in a few weeks, if the paper runs a follow-up article.

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