The Strategic Move Behind a $1 List Price
May 15, 2018
For years, a real estate professional in Edmond, Okla., has told his sellers that even if you price your home for just a dollar, the market would determine what the sales price would be. “This time, I had some sellers who were bold enough to take me up on trying that theory out,” says Ryan Hukill, the listing agent on a four-bedroom, four-bathroom home that was listed for just $1.
In less than a week, the home was under contract and fetched “tons” of offers, Hukill says. The price has “created a little bit of a storm” with publicity, says Hukill, a real estate professional with Keller Williams.
The home is valued at about $413,000, based on comps.
The home is 4,000 square feet and has a swimming pool and a 2-acre lot. By appearance, the home has nothing noticeably wrong with it and looks move-in ready. The $1 list price was a strategic move to ignite a bidding war that would drive up the home’s contract price.
After two days of the listing debuting, an open house drew out 60 buyers. By Tuesday, there were seven offers, and the home was under contract in less than a week. Hukill won’t share specifics, since the deal is still pending. But he told realtor.com® “we ended up a little bit above what the sellers initially thought they’d get.”
Other homes have also been listed for $1 to try to drum up a bidding war, but the strategy can be a gamble.
“Most sellers are afraid to take such a risk,” says Cedric Stewart with Keller Williams in Washington, D.C. Sellers could get bombarded with lowball offers or less serious buyers.
“Many of the buyers may be unqualified and submitting offers that are not worth consideration,” cautions William Fastow, a real estate professional with Sotheby’s in the Washington, D.C., area. “These junk offers all legally have to be presented to the owner by the listing agent and detracts from the agent’s time and resources, crowding out legitimate buyers.”
Even Hukill conceded to realtor.com® he isn’t sure he’d try the $1 list price sales tactic again.
“I definitely felt like we got some tire kickers, and a lot of jokesters saying they’d pay me $100 or $1,000,” Hukill told realtor.com®. He adds that “even serious buyers didn’t know what to offer, or where to start.”
Source: “Couple Puts 4,000-Square-Foot Home on Market for $1,” The Associated Press (May 14, 2018) and “Priced to Sell: The Weird Brilliance of This Home’s $1 List Price,” realtor.com® (May 14, 2018)
Updated: October 15, 2019