Homegrown Infomercials Aid Desperate Seller

Desperate home sellers are resorting to novel real estate marketing strategies these days -- including filming their own infomercials. For example, when Gary O'Neal decided to sell his 19th-century estate on a 30-acre mountaintop in rural New Hampshire, complete with historic chapel and a ton of religious history, clearly he needed more than a prayer to attract buyers.

A few years ago, after his mill flooded, O'Neal decided to sell Crestwood for $3.5 million. That was before the real estate market collapsed and prices cratered. The last offer was $2.5 million from a Baptist church, but "they just couldn't put the deal together in the end," says O'Neal. They only wanted 19½ acres and "wanted me as part of the deal." O'Neal told them, "We don't do indentured servants anymore in New England!"