‘Ugly’ Homes Find a Niche in Real Estate

February 3, 2016

The ugly home's curb appeal may begin and end at the curb — but more and more real estate professionals are bringing a dose of reality to their listings of eyesores, hoping the ugly ducklings might still attract home buyers.

Realtor.com® reports that a small but growing number of listings nationwide are advertising “ugly homes,” complete with descriptions of the home as “dirty” to the “worst in the neighborhood.”

“People love eye-catching headlines, and reverse psychology seems to work,” says Cara Ameer, a real estate professional in Ponte Vedra, Fla. “These types of descriptors pique interest, and people say, ‘How bad could it be?’”

One three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Northridge, Calif., listed at $475,000 is being marketed as a “flipper’s fantasy” -- but “cash only.” The listing includes photos showing an exterior covered in overgrown landscaping and a brown, dirty interior complete with wall cracks and missing flooring.

The listing reads: “This is truly the worst home in the best neighborhood.”

Realtor.com® notes the home has been viewed 123,900 times since being posted two weeks ago.

A three-bedroom home in Mechanicsburg, Pa., is also trying to use the “worst home in the neighborhood” hook to lure a buyer. The listing description reads: “We have the winner in the ugly-house contest with this. … It needs everything, starting with soap and water. … Because of its horrendous condition, you have the opportunity for the buy of a lifetime.”

Source: “Is Ugly the New Beautiful When Selling a Home?” realtor.com® (Feb. 2, 2016) and “REALTOR® Uses Reverse Psychology to Sell ‘Worst Home in Best Neighborhood,” New York Post (Feb. 1, 2016)