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 realtor.com, 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."
Realtor.com 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?" realtor.com® (Feb. 2, 2016) and "Realtor Uses Reverse Psychology to Sell 'Worst Home in Best Neighborhood," New York Post (Feb. 1, 2016)© Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688