Home sellers get creative

December 13, 2010 03:31PM

A recent art exhibit at a Hamptons home drew 150 people, but the goal of the event — publicized to brokers through hand-delivered invitations — was to sell the house, not the artwork, and it was a success. To sell a home in a weak market, brokers are getting creative and will try almost anything, according to the Wall Street Journal. “With big empty houses for sale, people can’t help but walk through them quickly,” said Priscilla Garston, an associate broker with Prudential Douglas Elliman, who owned the Hamptons home. “Photos make them hang out and pause.” Garston used this strategy in 2007, when prices were high, but she has found that it works in tough times as well. In addition to throwing a wine party, some other ideas can include displaying oranges during showings, since they are associated with good fortune in Chinese culture; sprinkling salt over the doorway; or for those more spiritually inclined, burying a statue of St. Joseph in the yard to help facilitate a sale. In luxury markets in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties in Florida, paying the club memberships for a buyer can be a popular incentive as well. [WSJ]