How to List a Homicide-challenged Home?

Between Galen scaring us with stories of AOL mischief, and both the WSJ and USA Today treating us to stories of crime-infested houses (you can’t just “repaint” over memories), I’m thinking there is something fishy in the air and I probably shouldn’t be writing any blog posts today.

However, I can’t help but wonder: What factors do you use in choosing your client when they are dead?

From the WSJ:

The red-brick mansion that just went up for sale in Greenwich, Conn., has about everything a buyer could want. Set on 2.1 lush acres on tree-lined Dairy Road, it has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, two fireplaces and a pool. Its $5.2 million asking price is, by Greenwich standards, appealing.

The home has another distinctive feature. The basement is where real-estate developer Andrew Kissel — who had been renting the home for $15,000 per month — was found bound, gagged and stabbed to death in April. “To say the broker will need all the luck he can get finding a buyer is an understatement,” says Greenwich broker Chris Fountain, who isn’t connected with the property’s sale.

From USA Today (via Zilow):

Almost 10 years after the body of 6-year-old JonBenét Ramsey was found in the basement of her Boulder, Colo., home, the Tudor-style house at 749 15th St. is on the market again.

“It’s stigmatized. It’s always been stigmatized,” says Joel Ripmaster, president of Colorado Landmark Realtors. Ripmaster has represented the last four owners of the property, all who purchased or sold the house at below-market value since JonBenét’s slaying in 1996.

Note: I went ahead and published this article today because it was brought to my attention that RCG does not do well in “real estate murder”-related search queries 😉

4 thoughts on “How to List a Homicide-challenged Home?

  1. I was a Trust Officer for 19.6 years, all of my clients were dead, and I was their “hand from the grave”. I took the job very seriously and studied their lives, in order to figure out how to give their money away the same way that they would, if they were living.

    It’s why I am a bit different from most real estate agents. I have been a fiduciary for most of my life. If I can figure out how to represent dead people well, I can clearly represent live ones even better 🙂

    A professional acts as they MUST and not as they FEEL. Every time an agent starts talking about themselves and their personal needs when negotiating, I know they are going to that “wrong place”. I only put myself into the picture if someone is trying to chop me off at the knees. Up to my ankles…maybe…my knees is going a bit far.

  2. Now there’s a type of feature your typical consumer would love to see highlighted in the listing of that home. :-O

    Talk about distinctive marketing…

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