The Kelmscott house that agent Rob Caruso described as an ‘A-grade dump’.
Real estate agents are renowned for their use of cliches such as “renovator’s delight” and “sophisticated contemporary style”. But agent Rob Caruso of Perth Property Solutions took a different approach.
“Avert your eyes before the horror burns holes in your retinas,” announced his advertisement for a four-bedroom home in Kelmscott, Perth. “Bring your vomit bucket. Wear your safety goggles . . . Prepare to burn your clothes and take a detox shower. The is not a B-grade movie. This is an A-grade dump.”
The strikingly honest advertisement apparently worked. The home sold within 24 hours of the advertisement going live last Wednesday.
“I think it’s about time real estate agents spiced up the advertising a bit to make it more entertaining,” Caruso says.
He says the cash offer of $240,000 was a good price, considering the home had been broken into and trashed. A similar home in good condition would fetch about $280,000, he says.
No price guide was given. By talking down the property, he gave possible buyers the impression it was discounted.
“I just put down ‘cheap’,” Caruso says. “Everyone’s perception of cheap is different.”
The ad came about when the home’s investor owner, who lives on the east coast, phoned him wanting a quick sale.
Caruso says: “He just called and said, ‘What do I have to do to get rid of it? Give me a price to get rid of it quickly and give me a price to keep it on the market for the year’. You’ve got to tell the truth to your vendor. It’s not as if they don’t know anyway.”
It is rare to find real estate agents who take this approach, but it is not unheard of.
Earlier this year, Simon Parer of Professionals real estate in the Brisbane suburb of Ashgrove touted a partly burned down house in Oleander Drive under the headline “Fire sale in the Avenues!”
The lead photograph showed the once-proud home with a plume of black smoke billowing from the front window and a fire engine out front with its lights flashing. “A little burnt but not forgotten, this is a genuine fire sale,” said the ad. “Ripe for a reno . . . with the house already partly demolished for you.”
It sold within 10 days for $655,000, well above its price guide of $600,000.
“It went like a train,” Parer says. “It was very popular. I ended up having four offers on the property. I had to get people to wear a face mask and hard hat when they went and visited the property.”