This Realtor is keeping it real. Maybe too real.
While many listings that describe homes for sale are notorious for spinning cramped, dark spaces as “cozy,” or glossing over other inconvenient truths about a property, a Colorado Springs agent didn’t pull any punches in her roughly $600,000 listing for a “formerly majestic” five-bedroom home that is now “every landlord’s nightmare.”
It’s covered in obscenity-laced graffiti, and smells like “there’s a dead body in there,” Mimi Foster, a real-estate agent with Falcon Property Company in Colorado, tells MarketWatch.
Yet her frank listing that describes the damage done to this home in gruesome detail has gone viral since she posted it three days ago. What’s more, Foster has also received multiple offers — many in cash, and above the $592,500 asking price — for the home she describes as a “little slice of hell.”
When MarketWatch asked Foster what she felt while walking through the house for the first time, she said “horror.”
“This is not your typical fix-and-flip,” she says — as in buying a dilapidated property, renovating it and then selling it at a profit. “This is mayhem. It’s like walking into a crime scene.”
And her visceral reaction bleeds through in her blunt Redfin listing.
“DO NOT GO ON BACK DECK. DO NOT OPEN FREEZER IN BASEMENT,” warns the ominous post. So what happened to this place? A woman who had been living there for a decade stopped paying rent and was evicted in 2019. She was allowed back to pack up her things — and trashed the house, instead. “You will also notice there is not one surface of the home that has not been enhanced with black spray paint or a swinging hammer,” reads Foster’s post.
“If you dream of owning your own little slice of hell and turning it into a piece of heaven, then look no further!”
But that’s not even the worst of it.
The place reeks.
The basement freezer, which hasn’t had electricity in more than a year, is full of meat that’s gone rancid. “So be sure to wear your mask. Not for anyone else’s protection but your own. You may not be able to endure the smell if you don’t,” the listing warns.
The smell is so bad that Foster is refusing to accept any sight-unseen offers, including a California investor whom she says offered her well over $600,000. “It’s too much of a liability,” she says, noting it will cost at least $150,000 to rehab the home. “I don’t want to sell it to someone who hasn’t seen it. That’s also why I wrote that description: If you’re gonna walk into this household, you need to know what you’re facing.”
Yet investors are so hungry for any kind of housing inventory right now that the Colorado Springs horror house still looks like a steal. “People love a fix-and-flip, and they’re rare now,” says Foster. Colorado Springs has 2,500 to 3,500 houses for sale during a normal market, she explains, but there were only 400 homes available as of Thursday. “So when you have a fix-and-flip with this neon sign attached, talk about turn-over potential!”
And this aligns with what’s been going on in the housing market nationally. Sky-high demand, limited supply and low mortgage rates have created a situation where desperate buyers are skipping inspections and appraisals, buying homes in cash, and even snapping them up, sight-unseen. A recent Zillow report found that 47% of homes in the U.S. were on the market less than a week before an offer was accepted, and 76% were on the market for less than a month.
Read more: How do you compete with home buyers who can pay in all cash? Skip inspections and appraisals
Related: ‘We can’t compete with all cash’: The struggle is real to buy a home during COVID-19
“Only in this real estate market could we possibly sell the house like this,” says Foster, “because on the flip side, only in this real estate market could the buyer make enough money flipping it to make it worth their while.”
Make no mistake, the house has great bones, and is in a desirable location with great views in a cul-de-sac. The open floor plan boasts a family room with fireplace, a living room, dining room and kitchen, a laundry, a main floor bedroom and bathroom. There’s also a walk-out to a back deck; just, the deck is “not necessarily attached to the house” right now. The upstairs has a catwalk and a large master bedroom with a soaking tub and dual sinks, plus two extra bedrooms and a bathroom.
But it needs a lot of work — and a buyer with a strong stomach.
“The dream buyer right now is an investor, somebody who knows what they’re doing, who has to come in and make this livable again,” she says.