Monday, 2 March 2009

Cupcakes sell houses

Roger Bailey became so fed up with his agents – over the 18-month period he was on the market, he tried two national estate agencies and two local ones – that he decided to take matters into his own hands and sell his £450,000 Berkshire home himself. Having already written the details and provided photographs for one of the agents – "we had to write the description because theirs was wrong and the photos we had were just better" – he produced his own sales brochure and went to distribute them at his local supermarket. His secret weapon? Cupcakes.

"We baked a tray of cupcakes and put picture transfers of the house on top," he says. "In my professional life I had sold million-dollar equipment at conferences but it was still so embarrassing standing there in the foyer of Costco trying to interest shoppers. But, you know, people said it was a brilliant idea."

Operation Cupcake was a strategy dreamed up for the brutally titled Axe the Agent? – the question-mark, by the way, is almost entirely dispensable – a whole recession-era series dedicated to bringing out your inner estate agent. And Roger is the programme's equivalent of a Blind Date wedding for, incredibly, he has now sold his house. By the time you read this, he and his wife Treva should have exchanged on their large family home near Reading, saving themselves several thousand pounds in commission and many more gloomy months in limbo.

From the Telegraph

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