Anyone who’s shopped for real estate has been there. You find a listing describing a perfect property, not a house, but a HOUSE. It has OPEN FLOOR PLANS and UPGRADES and CURB APPEAL. Then you get there, and, friends, it is just a house.
That’s not what we’re dealing with here. It is Opposite Day, ruled by a subversive queen.
Here it is, literally the worst house on the street! The seller has done the hard work of cleaning up the almost half-acre property (it only took 7 dumpsters!), so now is your chance to take it from here.
If you’re like me, someone texted you the listing for the $69,000 property in Zephyrhills this week, and your eyes bugged out of your head.
Have you ever watched HGTV and thought, I could do that? If so, pack up your tape measure and start Googling how to identify a load-bearing wall because it’s time to put your money where your mouth is!
I had to find this comedic sage, who tapped into our collective renovation psyche and broke down the B.S. with one beautiful sledgehammer swing.
“Everyone always told me I could never do sales,” she told me. “Because I’m too honest.”
Philippa Main, a 29-year-old Tampa Realtor with a background in marketing and a wicked sense of humor, is behind the viral listing. Main has become something of a celebrity for her turns of phrase extolling the, um, virtues, of this domicile.
I know you’ve heard of a detached garage, but have you ever heard of a detached foundation?!
The seller is Suburban Living LLC, a business Main works with to analyze tax auction properties — weighing whether it’s fruitful to rehab. Her client bought this property last March but didn’t start the process of listing it until tenants left in November.
It really did take all those Dumpsters. Hundreds of tires were in the yard, with mattresses strewn about. A junk crew took out as much as it could — including the kitchen cabinets. What was left was a dilapidated shell.
“When I walked in, I was not prepared for that.”
There is a large, sunny window in the kitchen... and absolutely nothing else — a wonderful feature for someone interested in a bright reading space (and ordering take out for every meal).
The client was game for a funny listing. Main is a natural jokester and loves self-referential comedy. One of her favorite movies is Scream, because it makes fun of the horror genre. Applied to real estate, it makes perfect sense.
If you need a place to stage your next post-apocalyptic zombie movie, this is it (the covered porch has really good rest here on your way to the safe zone vibes).
For millennials, she quoted SpongeBob: The roof leaks, the floor creaks, and there’s a terrible draft. She explained the open concept: By that we mean the inside is open to the outside because several of the windows are broken. And she praised the natural temperature control: Whether you like to turn up the heat or keep it cool, it won’t matter here because there is no HVAC system.
Main also got across the merits, the half-acre, the proximity to the highway, the non-flood zone. Finding something to work with in a bad situation has been her approach throughout the pandemic. The key is to “embrace the negativity for five minutes, and let it out,” then “get off the fainting couch.”
In fewer than 10 days, they had an offer. It’s now under contract.
She doesn’t know how often she’ll deploy comedy in future listings; going viral isn’t something you can recreate. Main sells around 50 homes a year, and of course, most clients want their listings to sound amazing.
But if you’re looking to mix in a little levity, she said, give her a call.
Don’t forget about the brick chimney that perfectly epitomizes how we all feel after 2020 — about to collapse and going nowhere.
Get Stephanie’s newsletter
For weekly bonus content and a look inside columns by Stephanie Hayes, sign up for the free Stephinitely newsletter.