Five Unique (And Crazy) Ways To Sell Your Own Home

It is hard to imagine that it was just half a decade ago when banks and financial institutions seemed like they had a bottomless well of cash to loan. That was actually the problem – it was too easy to get a loan. Interest rates soared through the roof, and people were left clueless as to how they are going to pay off their mortgages.

Suddenly, thousands of people were thinking, “I need to sell my house quickly!” With so much competition, it was a tough property market to be in. There have been signs of improvement; home sales rose to 72,100 in July, that’s double the figures in January, according to the LSL/Acadametrics House Price Index.

But it is still a volatile housing market, and to be able to sell your house fast, you need to think out of the box. Here are five unusual, bordering on desperate, (some of them a bit over the top) ways to sell a home.

1. Sell your house to a cash home buyer.

As John Fingleton, chief executive of the Office of Fair Trading said, “Encouraging new business models, online estate agents and private seller platforms could put useful competitive pressure on traditional models and lead to better value for buyers and sellers.”

2. Stage a raffle.

This sales technique requires a lot of hard work. The average price for a UK home is £162,000, so assuming each raffle ticket is sold at £25, you’d have to sell 6,500 tickets to make that amount. You might have to sell in shops, restaurants, pubs, train stations, and on the streets. As in any raffle, the lucky winner gets the house.

However, ticket revenue often falls short of the asking price, especially on more expensive properties. What do you with the proceeds then? You certainly don’t want a mob of angry protesters on your doorstep. One way to solve the dilemma is to give away a cash prize, whatever is left of the proceeds from the ticket sales after deducting costs. Be careful not to get arrested for breaching gaming laws though.

3. Beyond Classified Ads, advertise in unexpected places.

It’s free. It has millions of viewers. And it works. Estate agents, brokers, and even well-known property firms have made their own videos and posted them on YouTube, the world’s most popular video-sharing website. With just a digital camera and simple editing software, you can create your own video – the catchier the better of course – and post it on YouTube. Then you can market it by posting the link on Craigslist and Facebook, and e-mailing it to friends. Beats paying for a spot on network TV. But if you have the budget, you may even put up a billboard along a major road. It’s great exposure and if especially if you’re from a small town, it does not really cost a fortune.

4. Auction with a twist.

Auctioning to sell houses is actually quite a common practice, but one poster on an online community forum shared a story she had read in one of the free papers in London. The headline read: A £175,000 Garden Flat for Only £70?”

According to the post, it was £70 to enter the auction, and the bidder then has the right to submit up to 200 bids, in whole pennies starting at 1p. When enough people have registered to cover the asking price and the selling costs, the vendor was to award the house to the bidder with the “lowest unique bid.” It is “deemed to have an element of skill,” according to the paper, therefore it’s not a lottery and not covered by gaming laws.

5. Attract attention with smart and unusual gimmicks.

A small broker in Florida once rented a latte cart and parked it in front of her open house. That simple trick tripled the amount of traffic to her open house, had three bids and the house sold in nine days for $23,000 (£15,000) over the asking price.

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