What happens when you've got a less-than-perfect house to sell? Well, you've got two options when it comes to listing it. You can stage it as best you can for the photos and use plenty of euphemisms like "great potential!" or "handyman special" in the text. Or, you can post photos of the property as is and call it "literally the worst house on the street."
That last part is not hypothetical. It's an actual situation one agent found herself in with a distressed house in Zephyrhills, Florida. In one of the most hilarious real estate listings you'll ever see, the agent presents the house as being good for little more than knocking it down and starting fresh. It was a risk that paid off. The property sold in a month.
Clearly, this is an example of honesty being the best policy. But could it pay off for your own property? It all depends on how comfortable you are with displaying your property -- warts and all.
Own the ugly
The real estate agent behind that brutally honest listing obviously got the buy-in of the client. If you're selling the property on your own, you can write up the listing as you choose. If you're working with an agent, though, make it clear you're on board with a very transparent overview of your home.
Remember, real estate agents are trained to make a property look like a diamond in the rough. But if there's more rough than sparkle to your listing, you may want to discourage your agent from holding back on the state of your property.
Include details, not euphemisms
It's one thing to shame your property into submission, but you also have to present all the facts. Just as you would with any other real estate listing, include all information about the home, even if it's cringe-inducing. Are the kitchen appliances from the 1970s? Does the roof need to be fixed? Does the home even have a roof? Better to get it all out now. At worst, you'll lose homebuyers looking for a turnkey property, but at best you'll attract those looking for a bargain (or a flip) and are ready for the gut renovation that comes along with it.
Be ready for the reaction -- whatever it might be
You might hear crickets. Then again, you might get a ton of calls. If your real estate listing goes viral, great job. Sure, you might have to wade through those responses to get past the looky-loos to the real buyers. Remember, getting more people to talk about your home is never a bad thing.
So when you list your property, be ready. Clear out your voicemail inbox and check your emails, because if the listing hits right, your home could sell quicker than you think in today's hot seller's market.
The bottom line
Rather than do a bait-and-switch with your real estate listing, be upfront with the advantages and disadvantages of your property. At a time when more people are conducting their home search entirely online, many might find your listing's candor refreshing.