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Trending marketing tactic: Admit the listing is ugly


PONTE VEDRA, Fla. – Feb. 4, 2017 – An ugly home's curb appeal may begin and end at the curb – but more and more real estate professionals bring a dose of reality to their listing descriptions if it's an eyesore, hoping that ugly ducklings might still attract homebuyers.

According to, a small but growing number of listings nationwide are advertising "ugly homes," complete with descriptions of the home as "dirty" or the "worst in the neighborhood."

"People love eye-catching headlines, and reverse psychology seems to work," says Cara Ameer, a real estate professional in Ponte Vedra, Fla. "These types of descriptors pique interest, and people say, 'How bad could it be?'"

One three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Northridge, Calif., listed at $475,000 is being marketed as a "flipper's fantasy" – but "cash only." The listing includes photos showing an exterior covered in overgrown landscaping and a brown, dirty interior complete with wall cracks and missing flooring.

The listing reads: "This is truly the worst home in the best neighborhood." says the home has been viewed 123,900 times since being posted two weeks ago.

A three-bedroom home in Mechanicsburg, Pa., is also trying to use the "worst home in the neighborhood" hook to lure a buyer. The listing description reads: "We have the winner in the ugly-house contest with this. … It needs everything, starting with soap and water. … Because of its horrendous condition, you have the opportunity for the buy of a lifetime."

Source: "Is Ugly the New Beautiful When Selling a Home?"® (Feb. 2, 2016) and "Realtor Uses Reverse Psychology to Sell 'Worst Home in Best Neighborhood," New York Post (Feb. 1, 2016)

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Related Topics: Marketing