Homeseller Elle Zober's 'Husband Left Us' Lawn Sign Gets Attention -- But Not All Good

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Elle Zober home sale sign

Elle Zober (pictured above) of Beaverton, Ore., could never have guessed that the sign she put in her front yard advertising her home sale would turn her into an overnight media sensation.

But here she is, practically a household name, and her sign (pictured below), which she put up in early July, is recognized from coast to coast. It reads: "Husband left us for a 22-year-old ... House For Sale by scorned, slightly bitter, newly single owner."

Elle Zober home sale sign"We just thought it would be a funny thing that people would share locally," Zober, a 37-year-old mom, told AOL Real Estate, referring to herself and her ex-husband, whom she divorced after his affair.

Then, she and the sign ended up on national TV shows and in headlines across the country. One thing is for sure: She wanted to draw attention to her house, and she got it. However, it's not necessarily the kind of attention that's getting her house sold.

She's gotten dozens of phone calls and even more emails, but only four are from "people who have actually called about the house," Zober said. "The rest are press or people who want to talk about their own experiences [related to affairs]."

There are also bullies who "tell me I've gotten what I deserve," she said.

It might sound like an ingenious idea to use a personal storyline like Zober's to spike interest in the sale of your home. But it can just as easily backfire. You might find, as Zober has, that the attention gets turned on you -- rather than the house you're trying to sell.

Zober explains her unique sales pitch on "Dr. Drew"


"You're airing your dirty laundry," said Cara Ameer, a broker associate at Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. "You have to be really careful when you have personal circumstances.... People might sense a desperate situation, and you don't want people to take advantage of you that way."

Interested buyers, for example, could lowball their offers if they think that you're in a bad situation and are desperate to unload your house, Ameer said.

"But in positive situations, [using personal appeal] is definitely to your advantage," she added. Ameer often creates listing videos featuring the owners of the homes she represents.

Zober's situation isn't necessarily desperate but, nonetheless, she wishes that -- at least while she has a home on the market -- more people would ask about her house instead of her divorce.

"I don't know that I would do it again," Zober said of her unique sign. "And if it doesn't sell the house, I definitely wouldn't do it again."

She did get an offer from an interested buyer this week, but the deal is far from finalized.

In the meantime, all of Zober's unexpected attention has done something good: It's made her a folk hero.

"I've made a human connection with millions of people -- that is super weird!" she said. "But this was never about getting attention."

So once the house does finally sell, what will Zober do with the sign that has made her famous?

"Maybe I'll auction it off," she said.

21 PHOTOS
These Aren't Listing Role 'Models'
See Gallery
Homeseller Elle Zober's 'Husband Left Us' Lawn Sign Gets Attention -- But Not All Good

We like "The Wizard of Oz" as much as the next person. But we wouldn't hide the Wicked Witch of the West at the top of the stairs, where she can scare the wits out of potential buyers. "My interest in this house is melting! Melting!" (Thanks to Hooked on Houses.)

Well at least visitors don't have to worry about Lord Voldemort and other dark wizards: This house has a life-size cutout of the Boy Who Lived to protect it.

We mean that literally. If you're interested in this home, you'd better be prepared to drink a lot of coffee, or else be haunted by a Freddy Krueger nightmare. (Thanks to Hooked on Houses.)

The seller would probably like you to notice this home's ample deck space and stone facade -- but we can't take our eyes off the dead critter this guy is holding. (Thanks to Hooked on Houses.)

If it were a 5-year-old buying this house, then perhaps it would be appropriate to use a stuffed bear in every single photo of the listing. But since we're all adults, it just gives us something to make fun of in this gallery. (Thanks to Hooked on Houses.)

If you're as soft as a teddy bear, maybe the wood floor is actually a comfortable place to sleep. 

Not this one! 

Not this one, either! 

Dolls can be creepy (if you don't believe us, check out this collection). So -- remember the bears? -- don't think that using one in all of your listing photos is a good idea.

OK, it's a tossup as to which is scarier: the doll or the Pepto-Bismol pink bathtub. (Thanks to Hooked on Houses.)

Wait -- maybe it's the armless mannequin? That doll is actually starting to look pretty cute by comparison.
 

Didn't we discuss the doll thing?

Some things just aren't meant to be featured in listing photos. And if you do, it's just good manners to close the lid.

Nothing complements your nice patio, trees, outdoor eating area and gorgeous, big pool than a giant inflatable Shamu.

We told you to stop jumping on the bed! 

They'd say, "Buy This House!"

Realtor Joe Goldin of Rodeo Realty used models in listing photos to market this over-the-top "Palace" in Woodland Hills, Calif. But we think they look a little low-rent.

Donald Trump comes to mind when viewing this "classy" billiards room -- not to mention the awkwardly posed models.

Who takes a shower with their coat on?

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

See also:
Michigan Man Buys County's Entire Foreclosure Stock
'This Is Crazy': Company Snatches Condos from Owners
90% of Bank-Owned Homes Held Off Market, Estimates Suggest

More on AOL Real Estate:
Find out how to
calculate mortgage payments.
Find
homes for sale in your area.
Find
foreclosures in your area.
Find homes for rent in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate, or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebookand Pinterest.

Read Full Story

Find a New Home

Buy
Rent
Value
Powered by Zillow

From Our Partners