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Most Creative Way to Sell a Property: $125 and 200 Words

by UrbanTurf Staff

Most Creative Way to Sell a Property: $125 and 200 Words: Figure 1
The Center Lovell Inn, via Google Maps.

UrbanTurf usually stays away from publishing rankings or lists…except at the end of the year when we look back at the best that DC’s residential real estate scene had to offer during the previous 12 months. So, this week we are looking at not only the best but the most intriguing and peculiar things that came across our radar over the course of 2015. Enjoy.


On its face, it seemed like a pretty wild idea.

Janice Sage, the owner of the Center Lovell Inn in Maine, wanted to sell the inn she had owned for over 20 years via a contest in which entrants paid $125 and wrote a 200-word essay. The essays would be judged based on “structure (introduction, body and conclusion), creativity, thought and the conveyance of capability and desire to operate a Country Inn.” The author of the winning essay would be the new owner of the inn.

“There’s a lot of very talented people in the restaurant business who would like to have their own place but can’t afford it,” Sage told the Portland Press-Herald. “This is a way for them to have the opportunity to try.”

Sage hoped to garner a minimum of 7,500 entries, which would allow her to “sell” the inn for $937,500 and retire comfortably. She didn’t reach her goal, but came close. The Portland Press Herald reported that Sage received 7,255 entries which resulted in $906,875. The winning entry came from a restaurant owner in the Virgin Islands.

Of course, not everything went smoothly. A group of entrants claimed that the contest had not been handled properly by Sage, which resulted in a police investigation. After the week-long investigation, The Herald reported that the police concluded that the contest was handled legally.

While a contest like this is a very creative way to sell a property, its success is not guaranteed. In April, local non-profit Sustainafest ran a contest in which entrants ponied up $100 and wrote a 350-word essay. The winner received a Minim House. Despite two attempts at the contest, the organizers could not get enough entrants to make the numbers work. The tiny home ended up selling in a traditional transaction for $50,000 to a couple from Texas.

See other articles related to: best of 2015

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/most_innovative_way_to_sell_a_property_125_and_200_words/10655

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