There’s a world of stiff competition out there in real estate. Agents battle for the top listings, and fight to close deals before buyers or sellers get cold feet. Some realtors even go to crazy extremes to get the attention of clients – from the guy who used George Clooney’s face on his ads, to a real estate agent who stalked a potential buyer after having been dumped, to this lady who gamely suited up as a panda for the photo shoot!
When it’s all said and done, however, we think these five instances show just how far a real estate agent is willing to go to close that deal!
- Oh, Canada! A Canadian real estate agent noticed that a Chicago real estate firm had a 300% increase in home showings when they started offering free beer, and that a Louisville agency was giving away free pizzas with the sale of each home. Not to be outdone, the agent stocked the fridges of two Calgary homes on the market with $1,000 worth of beer – a “homeowners incentive” to be kept by the winning bidder. (No word on whether those dollars were US or Canadian, nor on what brand of beer was on offer!)
- Flamethrower FTW. Architect Hugh Hardy sold his own luxurious NoHo penthouse to developer Matthew Blesso in 2006. Blesso promptly redecorated; insulating the walls with shredded blue jeans, adding a vertical garden in the master bedroom, and filling the house with art. When Blesso decided to pass the property on, he spent a cool $50K on producing a video that revealed that the roof deck looked like the High Line, and even featured a flamethrower. Crazy way to justify a nearly $9 million price tag!
- Just a quick B&E. One Atlanta real estate agent was so desperate to make a sale that she caused $500 – or maybe it was $4,000 – worth of damage breaking into an empty, unlisted home in order to show prospective buyers around. That’s either real dedication or someone who possibly needs medication. She and the prospective buyers were charged with criminal trespass!
- Client see, client buy. A large New York based real estate group has started shooting their own “lifestyle” videos to sell houses. While none of them reportedly contain a flamethrower, they do include aerial footage shot by drones, and feature well-dressed young men and women stepping out of pricey cars and preparing for a night out on the town surrounded by all the comforts of very well appointed homes. (The first home advertised this way sold for just under $700,000 – not a bad ROI for a $3K video – so maybe this isn’t so “crazy” after all!)
- Nothing to see here, mate! An Australian agent was accused of Photoshopping a looming water tower out of listing photos in an attempt to get more people asking to see the home. His excuse: he didn’t actually Photoshop the tower out, he just took the images very carefully from an angle that excluded the water tower from view. The verdict? A $22,000 fine for deception in advertising.
What over the top things has your real estate agent done to close the deal? Share your own crazy stories in the comments!