Say goodbye to the days when baking a batch of cookies and putting out fresh flowers before an open house were enough to sell your home. In today’s real estate market, it takes more than that to attract buyers, and frustrated home sellers are resorting to some unusual methods to get their homes noticed. From clever to downright bizarre, here are our top 10 unique home-selling tactics.
- Take home staging to the extreme.
It’s well known that staging your home can help it sell faster, but some sellers are taking staging a step further with an ancient Chinese philosophy. Feng shui stagers rearrange the elements of a home to improve its chi, or energy. Good chi makes potential buyers feel more welcome.
- Hold an open house party.
Open houses are the norm when selling a home, but some sellers are upping the ante on the open house by offering wine, catered food, live music and prizes. A fancy shindig could start a buzz on your property and make your home memorable.
- Help serious buyers with financing.
Many people who want to buy a home can’t qualify for a standard mortgage right now, so sellers are offering a helping hand. Sellers have a few options when it comes to assisting buyers with financing, including offering lease-to-own deals, offering financing themselves, paying for closing costs or paying for points to lower the interest rate.
- Have a little faith.
Burying statues or medals of St. Joseph in the earth is a tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Most recently, home sellers have been burying the patron saint of family and household needs in their yards to help their homes sell faster. Thousands of sellers swear that a little divine intervention helped them get a sale.
- Throw in some extravagant extras.
In the past, a free big-screen TV was enough of an incentive to get your home noticed. Times have changed, and incentives are becoming more and more substantial. Sellers are throwing in all kinds of goodies, like free cars, vacations, pricey home upgrades and monetary incentives like a year’s mortgage or a furniture stipend. One woman in Florida is even offering herself as an incentive — she hopes to marry the man who buys her home.
- Make your home a grand prize.
After conventional methods fall short, some sellers are holding raffles and essay contests and giving their homes to the winners. This method is sure to draw attention, but beware: Home lotteries are illegal in many states, so find out your state’s regulations.
- Get Web savvy.
If the traditional method of selling your home through a real estate agent doesn’t appeal to you, you may find an alternative process for selling your home on the internet. Some sellers are auctioning off their homes on eBay, while others are swapping properties through sites like Pad4Pad.com and DomuSwap.com.
- Let your house do the talking.
After taking the traditional route of putting a For Sale sign in your front yard and placing an ad in the newspaper, try some hi-tech advertising. Some sellers and agents are using the Talking House radio transmitter, which allows you to record a customized message about the features of your home. Potential home buyers can tune into a radio station to hear this message as they drive by your house.
- Put your house on the auction block.
Auctions are no longer just for foreclosed homes. Sellers looking to sell their homes quickly are choosing the auction route. Keep in mind that the total costs of auctioning off a home yourself are often the same or more than the costs of selling a home through an agent.
- Let buyers sleep on it.
For serious potential buyers who are on the fence about buying your home, let them sleep on it — literally. By letting buyers spend the night in your home, you’re allowing them to get the full experience of living there. A trial run could be just what they need to sign on the dotted line. Be sure to consult with your real estate agent or attorney first.