Drink for free at the local watering hole and make it home in seconds. That’s what one Glenview, Ill., homeowner is offering as a way to set apart her 3-bedroom townhouse in a down real estate market.
Melanie Gravdal has been struggling to sell the unit, so she's decided to offer a unique incentive to stoke interest: $1,000 worth of food and drink at Grandpa’s Place, the bar across the street, to whomever buys the house.
“We weren’t getting very much traffic because there was so much competition in the market,” said Gravdal, of Glenview, a suburb about 18 miles north of Chicago. “We live in a place where restaurants and bars come within walking distance so we thought this was a way to cross-promote the neighborhood and our homes.”
Gravdal and her husband, who live in the house with their 2-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son, are looking to move back to California.
The family first put their house on the market in June, but with a bevy of similar townhomes in the area, interest was hard to come by. Yet prospects have picked up since she suggested the bar promotion to her realtor, Missy Jerfita, around Labor Day.
“Before the promotion we had two showings in seven weeks," Gravdal said. "Since the promotion, ... we’ve had nine. It used to be that sellers would make cookies for buyers to show them that they were good. Now the onus is on the seller to sweeten the deal.”
After dropping the price $25,000, the house is currently listed at $450,000, just slightly below the average for a 3-bedroom townhouse. At Grandpa's, fliers for the promotion are posted all over the bar area.
"It’s become kind of a talking point," said Mike Maginot, the general manager at Grandpa's. "As far as whether it’s going to work I don’t know. The rallying point seems to be actually how to spend the $1,000s. The best idea I’ve heard is a family of four coming in once or twice a month, enjoying a meal and going on their way."