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Buying & Selling a Home

Can't Sell Your Home? Try My Desperate Measure

Alan Weinkrantz used a blog to market his house in Alamo Heights, Tex.

Why did you start the blog? My house had been on the market for several months. I had priced it high for the San Antonio area, but I didn't want to back down. In a slowing market you have to be clever.

Why were you selling? I had no intention of moving. But my daughter saw a house for sale a mile away and asked me to look at it. When I saw the house, I said, "Wow. This is cool," and made an offer.

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So you put your house on the market? Yes. I didn't think I could get two mortgages. But my bank offered a bridge loan and a mortgage for the new house. The new house already had another offer, but I put in a backup offer. Then my agent called to say, "It's yours" -- the other buyers had backed out.

At what point did you start the blog? About six months after the house went on the market. I had had some interested buyers, but the deals fell through. People from out of town were looking, so I thought, My buyer is going to be from out of town and maybe he won't be as price-sensitive. I bet that if I start a blog and promote it nationally, I'll succeed.

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Isn't a blog a lot of work? I spent two and a half months building content and figuring out what kind of personality the blog should have.

What kind of personality did it have? I used a mixture of humor and used-car sales tactics. Like, "Hey! Buy my house and get a free chicken dinner from Bill Miller Bar-B-Q." I also talked about the neighbors and neighborhood.

Was the blog responsible for the sale? Indirectly. I run a PR firm, so I sent out story ideas to national media and real estate columnists. It got covered, and people from out of town came to look. But the buyer was a local guy who was driving through the neighborhood. When I told him about the blog, I created a sense of scarcity in his mind. That same day, he made an offer about 10% below asking price. I'm not sure a blog would help sell a typical suburban home. My house was built in 1907, so it is a neat place with a great story.

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