Happy 4th of July!

Here is an interesting article for your 4th of July…one Realtor’s creative way to market a home that has been listed for over a year.  What would you do? Houses that have been sitting for a long time often go un-noticed and get forgotten, it is an unfortunate mistake that Realtor’s make sometimes!

Jake Palmer
Facing a languishing listing, real-estate agent Jake Palmer got creative. Slide show.

There’s no room for humor in real estate.

That’s what some fellow real-estate agents told Jake Palmer when he started adding ironic descriptions to for-sale signs outside a home in the Canadian city of Saint John. He’s the agent for the sellers, who were having trouble finding a buyer.

One sign boasted that the home is “not haunted.” Another said it had “indoor plumbing.”

There’s more: “It’s a brick, house,” went up as Mr. Palmer added the Commodores’ disco anthem by the same name to the listing’s website. “Love shack, baby” appeared another week. (Slide show.)

Fellow real-estate brokers, Mr. Palmer said, rolled their eyes and wagged their fingers. Humor and real estate don’t mix well, they said.

Mr. Palmer, an agent with Re/Max Professionals Saint John, admits the approach is unconventional, but with the listing languishing after a year on the market, he and the sellers, Ray and Kim Seaward, decided it was time for something new. “We really felt it had gone stale,” Mr. Palmer said. One deal had fallen through around Christmas after the prospective buyer, who had already put down a sizeable deposit on the home, inexplicably backed out.

So this spring the couple, both 34, asked if Mr. Palmer had anything “goofy” to drum-up interest. He offered the “indoor plumbing” sign, which he had made once as a gag, and they liked it. He’s been changing the rider every week since then with a new quip. Last month, the “not haunted” sign caught the attention of social website Buzzfeed and the real-estate blog Curbed.

For his part, Mr. Seaward said they just wanted local attention to keep people looking. And that seems to have worked: There’s been an uptick in foot traffic, although there’s no buyer yet. (There have also been callers asking whether the house is really ghost-free.)

The home, which is listed for 197,900 Canadian dollars (roughly US$195,000), fits a younger couple looking for a starter home, Mr. Palmer said, and the signs seem to hit the right chord.

The trio is trying other things as well. Mr. Palmer lowered the list price every week by $500 for four weeks, he said, to ensure that the local listing service kept the home at the top of the queue. Still, Mr. Palmer says the home is stuck at “a very saturated price point.” Saint John is in the province of New Brunswick.

In any event, Mr. Palmer is sticking with his strategy.

“I’m changing that sign every week until the thing sells.”


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