Flashy, Trashy or Classy? – The Worst (or Best?) Property Listings in Oz

In today’s saturated market, making your property listing stand out is more important than ever. In turn, real estate agents have a natural propensity to gloss over less-desirable aspects of a property and of course – highlight its strengths and untapped potential.

Inevitably, the need to shine acts as the perfect catalyst for agents to get creative, innovative and sometimes just plain weird.

We decided to delve deep into the wackiest listings in Australia to see how modern day agents are spicing up the way they sell homes. But before we jump into our favourite listings, let’s look at some common tactics and trends we found during our research.

EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!

When it comes to indicating strong feelings and high volume, the humble exclamation mark can never go awry. Excessive use is questionable, though it definitely leaves an impact.

Unable, or perhaps unwilling to conform to centuries of deep set exclamation usage standards, some agents have jumped onto this runaway train and ripped the breaks off in the process.

We searched and categorised hundreds of listing examples, and had a bit of fun (too much) filtering them by the number of exclamations. These were our favourites:

BARGAIN BUY BLOCK OFFERS WELCOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In case you were counting, that’s 47 exclamation marks. It makes you wonder - can this truly be the kind of bargain to necessitate complete capitalisation and a marathon of exclamations? Did they spill something and jam the key on their keyboard? Who knows.

Tick All The Boxes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We imagined an agent touring the house, screaming and ticking a checklist aggressively.

PRICE REDUCED – IT’S YOUR CHOICE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KNOCK IT DOWN OR NOT

Definitely enjoyed the suspenseful pause the exclamations created here.

THE BEST HOMES IN TOWN !!!!!!!!! THE BEST HOMES IN TOWN !!!!!!!!! THE BEST HOMES IN TOWN !!!!!!!!!

You know what they say — Third time’s a charm !!!!!!!!! Third time’s a charm !!!!!!!!! Third time’s a charm !!!!!!!!!

Excessive use of ‘!!!!’ was only the beginning however. As we dug deeper, we continued brainstorming ideas and cross-checking hundreds of listings in search of the cheesiest strategies in the game.

One word certainly stuck out: WOW.

Exciting. Flashy. Trashy?

Call it what you will, but it certainly made an impact on a number of listings:

  • WOW!
  • WOW! What a View
  • WOW! What a Home
  • WOW! Is the Only Word Needed
  • WOW!!! We should call this one “NEW”!
  • WOW!!! What a Buy This is

These are great, though there was one clear winner:

WOW! WHAT A FIND WOW!! WHAT A LOCATION WOW!! WHAT A VIEW

Speaks for itself … Absolutely brilliant.

Whilst there are certainly these cheesy, almost exaggerated methods that add excitement to listings – the real winners for us were those that took a creative, outside-the-box approach to describing and pitching the home.

Better yet were those that made the best of the situation by transforming what would otherwise have been an undesirable listing. Here are some of our highlights:

112 Central Rd, Avalon Beach

Agents Elle Taylor and Stephanie Hammond from Shores Real Estate were tasked with selling a home that had been ‘let go’ and vacant for years. In fact, “every inch of the house was full of stuff” to the point where “it was just unphotographable inside.”

Here’s what they came up with:

Packed to the Rafters with Opportunity!

Not far short of a quarter-acre block (919sqm) of prime, level land, a walk to the beach, village, parks, schools and buses.

Generous lawns, and plenty of off-street parking …

There’s a house too.

But there’s no point in beating around the bush here … it’s hard to see. It’s full of stuff, and needs to be viewed as something of an unknown. It’s a bit of an expedition through the Amazon rainforest, without the leeches … bring a torch. Pith helmet and machete optional.

What we can see though looks GREAT….! We assume its structurally secure, only because it’s supporting a vast weight of clutter.

Later in the listing, they were sure to include the obvious selling points of the house:

simple facts — five bedrooms, multiple living spaces, bathroom, kitchen, laundry, and garage …Yes, x-ray vision would help, but in the meantime, take a good look at the opportunity: LEVEL block, GREAT location … and a SOLID family house!

In the end, their hilarious approach paid off. The property was initially listed with a bidding guide of 1.3 mill, though it sold for 1.53 mill well before the auction date. It’s clear that honesty, humour and just the right sales pitch can truly transform a listing that would otherwise be swept under the rug.

‘Financial Black Hole for Rent’ in Medina

A couple in Perth were desperate to rent out their home, but received no interest after posting a standard ad. With nothing to lose, they wrote a cheeky Gumtree ad asking potential renters to move in:

Despite having bought this property at a peak time in the market and paying a small fortune for a cardboard house, this financial black hole truly is an awesome place … An over-saturation of the rental market led us to a desperate attempt try advertising directly to soon-to-be released parolees; an attempt that was soon shut down by the Department of Corrective Services (and the neighbours).

In light of this we switched our focus to societies next level of undesirables. We now hope to attract hippies that can’t afford to live in Fremantle because having a job would support the evil corporations keeping us all slaves to the hamster wheel lifestyle by dangling the unreachable carrot of financial independence and early retirement and thereby perpetuating societies underlying engine of fear and anxiety (much like those farming game apps that you can download on the App Store).

Their honest and witty listing was viewed thousands of times and they were quickly inundated with dozens of messages. Once again, it seems that a transparent and light-hearted approach is a great option when listing these kinds of properties.

The Bad and the Ugly

In wrapping up this article, we thought we’d leave you with a few hilariously weird property listing photos. As the antithesis to some of the great examples above, we hope these act as a light-hearted reminder to always be savvy when you are listing/browsing. Enjoy!

The Doll Room — Straight out of Saw.
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Convenient & Guaranteed OHS approved.
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Toilet Camouflage — Can you spot Waldo?
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Living Room Trampoline — Oh my god! Tramapoline! Trambopoline!
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The Writing's on Wall — Sweet childhood memories!
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Thanks for reading!

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