News & Media

Fla. Listing Photo Shows a House Engulfed in Flames

A St. Petersburg home in a high-demand area burned down leaving an empty plot, and using a listing photo of the fire is a big risk but also crazy-good marketing.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – When you’ve got a hot property to unload, why not advertise it?

One Florida real estate agent took to Zillow to show off the fixer-upper he’s trying to unload by posting a photo of the home fully engulfed in flames.

“Bring your Smores to the Campfire and Build your Dream Home,” writes Dylan Jaeck of Luxury & Beach Realty Inc.

The 1959 house in St. Petersburg, Fla. is – or by now, was – located in a nice, quiet residential area.

It certainly has central heating.

The home is listed for $99,000, with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and comes with appliances, including a dishwasher, washer, dryer, freezer, microwave, oven and refrigerator.

Turns out, the home was heavily damaged in the fire and, according to Jaeck, “ordered from the city to be demolished and is being sold for land value. It’s a smoking hot deal posted to the internet and people liked it,” Jaeck told Tampa-area’s Spectrum News 9. “That’s going to obviously grab your attention.”

And it seems to have done just that. The post has been viewed more than 5,800 times.

“The reason why we put the fire picture up is so you know that this property has to be torn down and you can build a new dream spec home,” he said. “It’s creative marketing. It’s a niche. I got people talking.”

The home caught fire nine months ago, next-door neighbor John Welch, 60, told Spectrum. At the time, Welch took a few photos of the burning home. It was one of those photos that Jaeck selected for his lead entry.

“My nephew called me this morning and said your picture’s in the paper, and I go ‘what?’” Welch said. “I think it’s great.”

Jaeck told Spectrum he understands that the tactic was a bit risky.

“Some Realtors and even some brokers tried to think that it’s looking like it’s very unprofessional, that I would post someone’s house that’s on fire,” he told Spectrum. “But on the neutral side of it, people are thinking hey, he’s smart … and potentially it could bring me a buyer.”

© 2019 The Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.), Chris Pastrick. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.