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Page last updated at 10:30 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 11:30 UK

Five novel ways to sell your house

Raffle tickets
The idea of winning a house for 25 can prove attractive
In the current credit crunch some home-owners are resorting to ever more desperate measures to sell their property.

Sometimes the traditional alternative routes of auctions or private sales are not enough for the unorthodox seller.

Here are five truly unusual ways to sell a home - although as the examples show, each has its own drawbacks.


A local newspaper staple, the selling of houses using a raffle seems to have become steadily more popular over the last few years.

The vendor sells tickets - typically priced at 25 - in local shops, takeaways and pubs, and the lucky winner gets the house.

Two houses that have been offered as raffle prizes
Raffles are an increasingly common way to sell a house

Even for a home valued at the UK average of 162,000, the vendor would have to sell 6,500 tickets to make the asking price. And usually, the reason for needing to resort to a publicity-generating raffle is that the house has been impossible to sell.

Raffles frequently fall short of the asking price on more expensive properties leaving a tricky question of what to do with the ticket revenue. One tactic is for vendors to offer the cash taken as a prize, less the costs they have incurred in selling the tickets. Of course, these unaudited costs can be high, as much as 25-35% of the money taken and this outcome can leave ticket buyers feeling as if they have been cheated.

Some raffle sellers risk the danger of arrest on suspicion of breaching the gaming laws by running an illegal lottery.


With raffles relatively ubiquitous, the novelty house seller is now considering going the extra mile, perhaps by throwing in something exotic as a sweetener.

Why not throw in one of these? The car that is

One such example is that of Rick Hill currently trying to sell his 1,150,000 house in Hockley, Essex, by giving away a Lamborghini said to be worth as much as 150,000.

Homeowner Sarah Anslow tried to get 20,000 above market value for her home, as it had an early Banksy work on an exterior wall. Sadly, soon after the sale was publicised vandals daubed red paint over the work.


And when a car or artwork doesn't provide enough novelty, why not throw in a life.

Ian Usher
I thought it would go a bit higher... But I've no regrets
Ian Usher

Ian Usher, from Darlington, put his entire life in Australia for sale on eBay.

He was initially bedevilled by bogus high bids for his house, car, job and friends. The eventual purchase price was a mere 192,000 although that soon fell through.

A similar fate befell the Lord of the Manor Warleigh, David Piper, who attempted to sell his title, properties and Bentley cars in order to move to London for treatment for prostate cancer.

Bidding reached nearly 3m before the online auction was cancelled by the vendor, who feared bidders didn't have the cash to back up their offers.


A less publicity-generating but slightly more realistic way to shift a house involves swapping.

An agency in Rochdale facilitates such deals, which have the benefit of avoiding a long, and in the current circumstances hazardous, chain.


The aspirant vendor might want to take a tip from the people who build and sell homes for a living. To tackle the current nightmarish slump, some firms are offering a rent-before-you-buy scheme.

This is typically a characteristic of new-build developments with units that are proving hard to sell. Would-be-buyers rent and after a set period they can use the rent they have paid as a deposit on the property.

The drawback for the vendor is the lack of upfront capital - which might prove troublesome if they want to put down a deposit on a place themselves.

There is no reason why a private seller might not do the same.

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