September 12, 2018 8:00 am
Updated: September 13, 2018 8:20 pm

Realtor starting bid on northeast Edmonton home at $1

This house in west Edmonton is being put on the market for $1.

COURTESY: Calvin Hexter via Justin Larison/Vivid Photography

If you’re looking for a new house, an eye-catching deal has just landed on the market.

“We’re going to be accepting bids, starting at $1,” real estate agent Calvin Hexter said. “We’re accepting the highest bid, as long as it makes the most sense to the seller.”

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Hexter said he got the idea because Edmonton’s housing market is in a unique place right now.

“We have more listings today than we’ve had in 10 years,” Hexter said. “There’s a ton of people looking at selling their properties.

“This is a great thing for buyers, but when you truly need to sell your home — people are having a really hard time.”

Hexter said that means homeowners are accepting low prices or keeping their homes on the market for a long time. He’s hoping to excite the market a bit with his exceptionally low listing.

“The best thing about this is that anybody can put a bid on this… house,” Hexter said. “[It’s worth] between the $300,000 and $400,000 range. That’s the bracket.”

READ MORE: Fort McMurray most affordable housing market in Alberta; Canmore least: study

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that a bid of $100 is going to snag someone a new house.

“[The seller] has got a mortgage and all of that, so we have to be realistic with the best offer,” said Hexter.

WATCH BELOW: Home inventory is the highest it’s been since 2008, according to Edmonton Realtors. On June 17, Albert Delitala filed this report where some called it a ‘buyers market.’

Dr. Michael Roberts with the School of Business at Edmonton’s MacEwan University calls the idea “a bit gimmicky” for Edmonton’s current market.

He said tactics like this are used more often in hot markets like Vancouver and Toronto, where homeowners and real estate agents are hoping people will overpay for the new home.

In this case, Roberts said the agent is likely just trying to create attention.

“It drives customers to look at the house. The more eyes you can get on it, the more possibility you can find a buyer,” he said. “I think they’re just trying tactics, trying to move a house and get the most money and interest in it that they can.”

READ MORE: For sale: Unique acreage inside Edmonton city limits

But he cautions others who may want to try a similar move. He said, at the end of the day, a real estate agent is only interested in selling the house.

“If they do this, they have more chance at getting a bid. This will probably bring a bid in. It may not be the maxiumum they can get for the house though,” he said. That’s a good tactic for a real estate whose main objective is to sell the house, whereas it’s not necessarily the way to maximize the value for the person who owns the house.”

Hexter said a portion of the sale price will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

“This gentleman gives back to charity all the time. We put our heads together and said ‘why don’t we give back to charity while also [giving his home] a lot of attention?'”

Habitat for Humanity will also be accepting donations at the open house on Saturday.

“You can come down and we recommend you check out the listing,” Hexter said. “But, if you have anything you’d like to give away and you think someone could benefit from it, we’d love you to bring it down.”

WATCH BELOW: Global News coverage on Habitat for Humanity in Edmonton

Hexter is optimistic this won’t be the last time an offer like this is seen in Edmonton.

“I have a feeling this will launch something where we can continue to give back to the community, but also highlight the housing realities in Edmonton,” he said.

READ MORE: IN PHOTOS: Luxury Edmonton home going to unreserved auction

Global News has covered two unreserved auctions in Edmonton in recent years — meaning the homes would be sold no matter how high or low the final offer was.

In 2015, an Edmonton couple put their river valley home valued at $3.8 million up for auction and a luxury condo was sold the same way in 2013.

The condo went for $3.5 million, but the price the house was sold for was never released publicly.

Bids will be accepted for a week, before the best offer is taken to the seller.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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