The typical approach realtors take when listing the more unappealing homes on the Multi-Listing Service (MLS) is to use fancy verbiage to essentially mislead other realtors and buyers into thinking the homes are nicer than they really are. There is a new-school approach to listing ugly homes, which is to call it like it is and let the chips fall where they may.
According to realtor.com, not only is this the ethical thing to do, but it could also be an effective attention getter. The MLS is loaded with listings that read “beautifully up-graded home with open floor-plan and spacious, lush backyard”, so one can’t help but take notice of the listing that reads “this vial train wreck is the worst house in the neighborhood so bring your sledge hammer”. The blatant honesty is refreshing, and buyers can’t help but think purchasing the ugly home could be the deal of a lifetime.
We see it all the time on HGTV shows such as Flip or Flop, The Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, and Rehab Addict. The common theme is that they take the worst house on the street, demo it, remodel and design it, and actually make the home more equitable than it was before. The ugly home listing on the MLS is tapping into this same vein by saying to buyers “hey pick me up at a bargain, make me look exactly they way you want me to look, and then make more money selling me somewhere down the road”.
After considering all of these points, I have to say that I agree with this tactic. If a house is unequivocally ugly, why hide it? Why not take the honest approach, make the listing stand out among all the others, and generate sincere buyer interest based on the concept in the previous paragraph? I have to say that I don’t think this is the right strategy for homes that could simply use a little upgrading here and there. Why not? Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and upgraded means different things to different people. There’s no need to give a home the “ugly home” stamp unless it truly deserves it.