Come Look at This House, Get a Bottle of Wine

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Hot Foreclosures for Under $150,000

It's open house for great real estate steals. See how much home can you buy for the money, especially with these well-priced foreclosures in cities across the U.S.

Top Picks: Foreclosures for Under $150,000

Foreclosure Search: 7-Day Free Trial to Foreclosure Listings

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Browse Over 2.8 Million Home Listings


Buyers' Market: $150,000 | $250,000 | $350,000 | $450,000

How desperate are some home sellers in this time of sinking prices?

This desperate: Around the country, some homeowners and their agents are now offering shoeshines, bottles of wine and other freebies to anyone who shows up to tour an open house. Used to be, such freebies would sometimes be thrown in for those who bought a home. Now, they're often offered to those who are just browsing. In some cases, the freebies also go to Realtors who tour homes for sale.

What some are doing:

•In Charlottesville, Va., Barbara Potter Drinkwater is trying to get other Realtors and potential buyers in to see her open houses. She's tempted them with live music from local artists and drawings for a gas card to pay for the cost of driving to the event. She's also offered each visitor a gallon of ice cream. (The ice cream is to encourage them to drive straight home to their freezer and not visit any competitors' homes along the way.) "You have to price them right to market," she says. "But first, you get them in the door. All my listings have sold."

• Free dog biscuits to open-house visitors who bring their pets is just one perk that Craig Anapol, a Realtor with Alain Pinel Realtors in Carmel, Calif., is doing to spark interest. At one of his listings, the seller requests that visitors remove their shoes, so Anapol is arranging to have someone polish visitors' shoes while they tour the house. He's also greeted open-house visitors with hot towels.

• In Tiburon, Calif., agents or even potential buyers who came to an open house Wednesday received a $30 bottle of chardonnay. The home, with a deck, pool and beach access, is listed just shy of $2.5 million. The real estate agency is also considering hiring a three-piece band for another forthcoming open house.

"In this housing market, volume is really off; there's limited demand," says Mark McLaughlin, a Realtor with Morgan Lane, who is representing the home and gave out the wine. "We had a team meeting and came up with this and said, 'Why not give it a try?' It's a really nice bottle of wine. It's to keep the house in the top of their mind."

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• BellTel Lofts, a recently renovated landmark Art Deco building in Brooklyn, N.Y., is using an array of creative tactics to draw visitors. It's offering spa service coupons, and door prizes include aromatherapy candles, lotions and other spa products. In early July, BellTel will also host a cocktail party and offer experts to provide credit analysis for those who attend the open house.

Ilan Bracha, managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman, which is handling BellTel, says he and other Realtors are offering such goodies because of how competitive the market has become. "The idea is to try to get the buyers to come in and go against the competition, because of the situation of the market," Bracha says. "It's just to bring them in for the Sunday opens."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

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