"World's Cheapest Home" Listed for $1 Sells for $52,000
Unwanted house goes viral after 20 years on the market.
In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes and people fighting over land, even if it's worth just a buck. One real estate agent from Michigan realized it last week after being assigned the challenging task of selling a particularly unappealing home. To his and owners' shock, the house initially listed for $1 was sold for over $50,000 after a frenetic bidding war. Here's what happened.
Chris Hubel, a real estate agent, listed a Michigan home on Zillow for $1, advertising it as the "World's Cheapest Home!" The Washington Post reported. According to Hubel, pricing a home lower than market value almost always results in finding its true market value. However, the outcome exceeded his wildest imagination.
He decided to be brutally honest about its condition and duly listed the houses' "unique features." Hubel stated that the house featured a "floor hole" and that the tangled garden lured "local critters for an impromptu garden party."
"The roof might have seen better days," he wrote before fishing the post on a high note "but hey, it's not leaking yet — it's just keeping you on your toes, providing an unexpected shower of excitement when you least expect it."
For nearly two decades the two-bedroom, one-bathroom residence along East Ypsilanti Avenue remained vacant and unsold after Mary Blair took full ownership in 2004. Despite attempts to sell it in 2011 for $10,000, there were no takers, according to the Post.
Having collaborated with Hubel previously, Blair didn't hesitate when he approached her a few weeks ago with the proposition of listing one of her properties for a dollar. She recounted that she "just let him run with it." "I was afraid I was going to have to sell it for $1, but that didn't happen, thankfully," Blair told The Washington Post.
After Hubel's listing, the real estate blog Zillow Gone Wild decided to feature the story. Soon after, Hubel received over 50 calls and texts within a 20-minutes. The situation quickly escalated as the listing gained global attention. Influxes of inquiries emerged from prospective buyers internationally, resulting in an excess of 140 offers spanning from 27 cents to over $50,000. The property remained on the market for eight days.
Some people came up with creative bids. A $5,000 bidder, a YouTuber, pledged to chronicle the restoration journey online for added viral impact. A different social media influencer proposed swapping an RV for the house. To bidders offering $5, Hubel sent snapshots of a solitary $5 bill.
After eight days and 142 bids from the US and abroad, about ten offers in the ballpark of $40,000 received serious consideration from Hubel and Blair. Finally, a local buyer submitted a winning bid of $52,000. "I just didn't expect it to go that big," shocked Blair said.
"I think it drove up the value for the local buyers because there was so much competition and because they were competing against people throughout the world," Hubel told the Post. In the future, he intends to apply the $1 listing approach to other properties as well.