Raffle To Win a House…3/12/2008 UPDATE

I’m re-posting this story yet again because I think it’s brilliant and it’s a success…so far.   Check out the comments section below though as more is revealed about the history of this home.

From WBALTV.com in my home town of Baltimore comes this incredibly creative and ingenious marketing strategy for selling your home in a down market.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Frustrated by a nationwide housing slump, a western Maryland couple is selling raffle tickets for their $390,000 house and hoping they’ll sell enough $100 tickets to get the farmhouse off their hands. (3900 tickets and they get their price!)

Dennis Kelly and Karen Crawford put the four-bedroom house for sale for $425,000 a year and a half ago. But they say the housing slowdown means they haven’t had any takers. The house is now valued at $390,000.

The real beauty in what Mr. Kelly and Ms. Crawford are doing is that all of the proceeds above and beyond the $390,000 will go to benefit the San Mar Children’s Home.  This seems like a win, win, win (yes three wins) to me.  At $100 per raffle ticket, it’s highly likely that more than 3900 tickets will be sold.  The sellers get their price, San Mar will likely make a considerable amount of money, and one lucky winner will get a $390,000 house for $100!  With additional donations from local businesses the raffle offers a total of five prizes.

The four-bedroom house will go to the grand-prize winner. Second prize is a 2008 Toyota Camry, third prize is a Persian rug, the fourth is furniture and the fifth prize is $1,000 cash — all offered to raffle organizers by a local car dealership and furniture store.

The raffle has been approved by Maryland gaming authorities.  Assuming 5000 raffle tickets are sold, the odds are not bad and knowing that the excess $110,000 goes to a worthwhile charity makes the $100 ticket price that much more palatable.

In Manhattan, we would only have to sell about 15,000 raffle tickets at $100 a pop to sell the average priced apartment.  So will 2008 be the year of the housing raffle?  It seems that in some markets across the country, we are going to see some very creative marketing strategies.  Here on the home front, creativity hasn’t yet become a necessity.

Here’s the complete listing for the house.

There is still time to buy a ticket.  CLICK HERE to purchase online with a credit card or download a pdf and pay by check.

UPDATE:  They have sold well over the minumim of 5000 raffle tickets making this a win-win for the homeowners and SanMar.  The raffle is being held tomorrow, Thursday March 13!  I will post winners on Friday.

For tips and advice on conducting your own house raffle, check out How To Raffle Your House.

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