Unconventional Methods for Selling a House: Thinking Outside the Box

Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock | Greater Rochester NY Real Estate | Pittsford NY Realtor at RE/MAX Realty Group

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What Are Some Unconventional Methods To Selling A House
What Are Some Unconventional Methods To Selling A House

Selling a house can be daunting, but sometimes, thinking outside the box and embracing unconventional methods can help attract potential buyers and expedite the process. We will explore five strange ways homeowners have successfully used to sell their properties: burying a St. Joseph statue, having an auction, establishing a rent-to-own agreement, hosting an open house party, and hiring a discount broker.

These methods may not be for everyone, but they provide alternative approaches that have proven effective for some sellers. In my experience as a Rochester Realtor, having the home sale basics down first is essential. None of these creative methods will sell an overpriced home.

1. Burying a St. Joseph Statue:

One of the most well-known unconventional methods to sell a house is the tradition of burying a St. Joseph statue. Burying a St. Joseph statue for selling homes became more mainstream in the 90s. This practice, rooted in Catholic belief, involves planting a statue of St. Joseph in the yard of the property you wish to sell.

The idea is that St. Joseph, the family and home patron saint, will help make a quick and successful sale. Maximum Real Estate Exposure is an excellent resource for explaining how to get a statue and bury it properly.

While the effectiveness of this method may be attributed more to the psychological factor than any supernatural intervention, many homeowners swear by it. If you choose to try this method, it is crucial to approach it with respect for religious beliefs and traditions.

Steps For Burying a St. Joseph Statue

1. Obtain a St. Joseph statue: Purchase a small statue of St. Joseph, typically made of plastic or resin, from a religious supply store or online retailer. It is essential to ensure that the statue is designed explicitly for burying.

2. Choose a location: Select a spot in your yard that holds significance to you and your home. It could be near the front entrance, garden, or any appropriate area. Remember that this is a personal and spiritual practice, so choose a location that resonates with you.

3. Prepare the hole: Dig a small hole, approximately six to twelve inches deep, in the chosen location. This depth is significant as it symbolizes the connection between your home and the earth.

4. Place the statue: Gently place the St. Joseph statue in the hole, facing it towards your home. Some traditions suggest placing the statue upside down or burying it headfirst to symbolize humility and surrender.

5. Say a prayer: Take a moment to reflect on your intentions and pray to St. Joseph. It could be a prayer or something personal and heartfelt, expressing your desire for a successful sale and a smooth transition for you and the future owners.

6. Cover the hole: Carefully cover the hole with soil after praying. Some people mark the spot with a small decorative item, such as a stone or flower, as a reminder of the buried statue.

7. Maintain faith and gratitude: After burying the St. Joseph statue, it is crucial to maintain faith and express gratitude for any progress made. Remember that this method does not guarantee a quick sale but rather a way to focus your intentions and invite positive energy into the selling process.

It is important to note that burying a St. Joseph statue is a personal practice rooted in religious beliefs. If you do not resonate with these beliefs or feel uncomfortable engaging in this practice, exploring other unconventional methods mentioned in this article is perfectly acceptable.

Remember, some people see this as nothing more than a home-selling myth. It may do nothing to help an overpriced property.

2. Having an Auction:

Auctions are not just for antiques and collectibles; they can also effectively sell a house. Auctions create a sense of urgency and competition among potential buyers, often resulting in a faster sale. Additionally, auctions can attract a wider audience, including investors and serious buyers ready to make a quick decision.

You will be selling the house as-is for cash.

However, it is essential to note that selling a house through an auction comes with its considerations. Working with a reputable auctioneer and thoroughly researching the auction process is crucial to ensure a successful outcome.

Essential Considerations for Sellers Using an Auction

Another consideration is setting an appropriate reserve price. The reserve price is the minimum price the seller is willing to sell the property. It is essential to develop a realistic reserve price that reflects the property’s market value and allows potential buyers to feel they can secure a good deal. Setting the reserve price too high may discourage potential buyers from participating in the auction.

Effectively marketing the auction is vital in attracting a vast pool of potential buyers. This includes creating enticing advertising materials, utilizing online platforms, and reaching out to real estate agents and investors who may have clients interested in purchasing properties through auctions. The more exposure the auction receives, the higher the chances of attracting the right buyer.

Furthermore, sellers should be prepared for the possibility of a quick sale. Auctions typically have a set timeframe, and once the hammer falls, the deal is final. Therefore, sellers must have all the necessary paperwork and legal requirements before the auction date to ensure a smooth and efficient transaction.

Lastly, sellers should know the costs of selling a house through an auction. Auctioneer fees, advertising expenses, and any necessary repairs or renovations to make the property marketable should all be factored into the budget. It is advisable to consult with the auctioneer beforehand to discuss the expected costs and ensure they align with the seller’s financial expectations.

Overall, selling a house through an auction can be an effective and unconventional method to expedite the selling process. However, it is crucial to approach it with careful planning, research, and the guidance of experienced professionals to ensure a successful outcome.

3. Rent-to-Own Agreement:

A rent-to-own agreement is an unconventional method that allows potential buyers to rent a property with the option to purchase it. This arrangement benefits both the seller and the buyer. The seller can secure monthly rental income while maintaining the potential for a future sale, while the buyer can live in the house and potentially build equity over time.

Rent-to-own agreements are desirable to buyers who may not be able to secure traditional financing immediately but have the intention and capability of purchasing the property in the future. However, it is crucial to have a well-drafted legal document.

Legal Considerations of a Rent-to-Own Housing Agreement:

Understanding how rent-to-own contracts work is essential. When entering a rent-to-own agreement, the seller and the buyer should consider several legal aspects to protect their interests. Here are a few key considerations:

1. Contractual Terms: A rent-to-own agreement is a legally binding contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the arrangement. It is crucial to have a well-drafted document that clearly states the agreed-upon purchase price, the duration of the rental period, the amount of rent to be paid, and any additional terms such as maintenance responsibilities, repairs, and property taxes. Working with a real estate attorney to draft or review the contract is highly recommended to ensure its legal enforceability.

2. Option Fee: In a rent-to-own agreement, the buyer typically pays an upfront option fee, which grants them the exclusive right to purchase the property within a specified period. This fee is separate from the rental payments and is typically non-refundable. The amount of the option fee can vary and is negotiable between the parties. It is essential to clearly outline the terms regarding the option fee, including whether it will be credited towards the purchase price if the buyer exercises the option to buy.

3. Rent Credits: Rent credits are another vital aspect of a rent-to-own agreement. These credits are typically a portion of the monthly rent applied toward the property’s eventual purchase price. It is essential to clearly define the amount and terms of the rent credits in the agreement, including whether they are mandatory or discretionary. Additionally, the contract should specify whether the rent credits will be forfeited if the buyer does not exercise the purchase option.

4. Maintenance and Repairs: The allocation of maintenance and repair responsibilities should be clearly outlined in the contract. Generally, the landlord/seller remains responsible for major repairs and structural issues, while the tenant/buyer is responsible for routine maintenance and minor repairs. It is crucial to clearly define the scope of these responsibilities to avoid disputes during the rental period.

5. Default and Termination: The rent-to-own agreement should include provisions for default and termination. It should outline the consequences of default by either party, including the right to terminate the arrangement and potential remedies. It is essential to address possible scenarios such as late rent payments, failure to exercise the purchase option or breach of contract.

A rent-to-own agreement can be a beneficial option for both buyers and sellers, but it is essential to consider

4. Have an Open House Party:

Unconventional Home Selling Methods - Host An Open House Party
Unconventional Home Selling Methods – Host An Open House Party

Having an open house party is not only a great way to showcase your property but also an opportunity to create a memorable experience for potential buyers. Hosting a festive and inviting event can attract a larger audience and make a lasting impression on those who attend.

It is an excellent opportunity for a for-sale by owner to showcase their property. Traditional open houses have pros and cons, but this is a bit different.

To successfully execute an open house party, consider the following tips:

1. Theme and Decorations: Choose a theme that aligns with the style and features of your home. Whether it’s a garden party, a wine-tasting event, or a barbecue, make sure the decorations and ambiance reflect the theme. Set up attractive outdoor seating areas and string lights, and create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

2. Refreshments and Food: Refreshments and food are necessary for any open house party. Offer a variety of appetizers, drinks, and desserts that will leave a positive impression on your guests. Consider hiring a caterer or food truck to provide a memorable culinary experience.

3. Entertainment: Adding entertainment to your open house party can enhance the overall experience for potential buyers. Hire a live band, DJ, or local musician to provide background music. You could also consider organizing lawn games or hiring a professional entertainer to engage guests and create a fun atmosphere.

4. Giveaways and Raffles: Offering giveaways or holding raffles can effectively generate excitement and encourage attendance. Consider raffling off a gift card, a home decor item, or a weekend getaway. This can create a buzz and make your open house party stand out.

5. Virtual Tour and Social Media Promotion: Consider incorporating a virtual tour component besides hosting an in-person event. Utilize social media platforms to promote your open house party and generate interest. Create a Facebook event, share enticing photos and videos of your property, and encourage attendees to invite their friends and family.

Remember, an open house party aims to create a positive and memorable experience for potential buyers. By going the extra mile to make your event enjoyable and unique, you increase the chances of attracting serious buyers who will connect with your property on an emotional level.

5. Hire a Discount Broker:

A discount real estate broker, a flat-fee or a limited-service broker, offers their services at a lower commission rate than a traditional full-service broker—the main difference lies in the level of services provided and the cost associated.

The saying ” you get what you pay for” certainly applies to discount brokerages. While people using this method are not as successful as those who pay traditional brokerages, you may be lucky.

Traditional brokers typically charge a commission of around 5-6% of the final sale price of a property. This commission covers various services such as marketing, listing the property, negotiating with buyers, handling paperwork, and providing guidance throughout the transaction process. Traditional brokers generally take care of all aspects of the sale, from start to finish.

On the other hand, discount brokers offer a more limited range of services at a reduced commission rate. They may provide essential services such as listing the property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a database of properties available for sale, and handling some administrative tasks. However, they may not offer additional services such as marketing campaigns, open houses, or extensive negotiation assistance.

The lower commission rate discount brokers offer can appeal to sellers who want to save on costs. However, it is essential to note that discount brokers’ service levels may vary. Some may offer additional services at an extra cost, while others may focus solely on the basics. Sellers who choose to work with a discount broker should carefully consider the services they require and ensure that the broker they choose can adequately meet their needs.

Ultimately, the decision to work with a discount or traditional broker depends on the seller’s specific circumstances and preferences. Sellers need to weigh the level of services they require against the cost savings offered by a discount broker to make an informed decision that aligns with their goals.

Final Thoughts on Unconventional Ways to Sell a Home

While traditional methods of selling homes work best, these outside-the-box strategies could assist in making things happen. However, before placing much stock in unusual selling strategies, ensure you have the basics down first, like the right asking price, having an excellent Realtor, getting your home staged correctly, and having exceptional photography.

These home-selling tactics are like the cherry on top of the sundae.

About the author: The above “Unconventional Methods for Selling a House: Thinking Outside the Box” was written by Kyle Hiscock. Kyle has been selling real estate in the Greater Rochester NY area for over 12 years and has helped hundreds of buyers and sellers move in, move around, and move out of the area!

About Rochester’s Real Estate Blog: Rochester’s Real Estate Blog is owned and operated by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group.

Since being launched in 2013, Kyle has published more than 150 quality, in-depth, and unique real estate related articles on the Rochester Real Estate Blog pertaining to topics varying from home selling to mortgages and everything in between!  In addition to quality real estate related content, there are also many quality articles pertaining to the Greater Rochester NY area.

The Rochester Real Estate Blog has been recognized by many reputable websites as one of the best real estate blogs to visit and follow!  In addition to being recognized as one of the best real estate blogs, Kyle has been recognized as one of the top Realtors on social media by several organizations and websites.

The Hiscock Sold Team has almost 50 years of combined experience, so if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

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