2010 Real Estate Guide
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Selling a home: 5 wacky ways

Trying odd things might even the odds when it comes to selling a home these days.

Some homeowners and real estate agents are thinking beyond price, condition and location to get buyers in the door and make a sale.

Michael Travis, an agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Portsmouth, N.H., equates it to being noticed among potential daters on a site like Match.com.

"You have to stand out," he says.

Here are five offbeat ways to sell a home, and they might inspire you to think outside the box.

1. Let them sleep over

Some builders and sellers are offering prospective buyers a chance to stay in the home for a night. They're even welcoming folks with bottles of wine and other goodies to make their stay comfortable.

House successfully sold
The tactic has been featured on TV, with shows such as HGTV's "Sleep On It," which depicts buyers spending the night in homes and even throwing dinner parties.

"This is a pretty 'out there' concept," says Benita Carswell, principal and broker with Atlanta-based Bo Bridgeport Brokers.

Atlanta buyers Tim and Kimberly Miller were considering a new home but wanted to know if the street in front of it was too noisy. The builders let them bring air mattresses, and the couple set up camp for the night.

The Millers woke up the next morning, satisfied with what they didn’t hear, and put a contract on the new home, which they moved into in December 2008.

"It was really what kind of helped close the deal," Tim Miller says.

Carswell, who was the Millers' agent, says the sleepover gave them "the experience of that home."


"It was like being out in the front porch in the evening and being able to see how the traffic was or the noise level in the neighborhood," she says. "That final thing really confirmed it for them."

On second thought: Set some rules for what potential buyers can do in the house. If they decide to have a party, it could get out of hand and possibly damage the home or furniture, says Dorcas Helfant-Browning, past president of the National Association of Realtors. Also, it's not a risk-free move because the more time a potential buyer stays in a home, the more things they could question or dislike, Carswell says.

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