It's been four and a half years since 日本性文化Houston's 'filthiest house' hit the market日本性文化, but the smell is one you don't forget.
日本性文化Paul Gomberg日本性文化, who was part of the "Rockstar Realty Group" at Keller Williams Realty in Conroe at the time, was going to sell the Champions-area home for a couple he had worked with in a different part of the city.
When the couple first told Gomberg about the home, all they said was a "little rough around the edges and they had to do some clean up to it."
He recalls how instantly disgusted he was when he finally saw it for himself. "Where should I puke first?" was his first thought, he said, when he entered. The play room was full of animal poop. The bed was soaked in urine. The toilet was full of feces that sat mountain high.
What the couple had failed to mention to Gomberg was that they hadn't lived in the home for months and was now using it to store their animals. For a three month period, 12 dogs, six cats and a potbelly pig lived in the home alone.
"I had never seen anything like it before," Gomberg, who's been in the real estate business for almost 40 years, said. The couple didn't seem to think the animal waste, trash and rancid smell mattered too much though, offering to take up some carpet and paint a few walls to restore the home before kicking off the selling process.
Gomberg had a different idea. "Let me just sell it how it is," he told them. The couple was shocked, but Gomberg knew what he was doing.
He immediately put his marketing, and comedy, skills to use. He first posted the listing to the 日本性文化Houston Association of Realtors website日本性文化. "This is the filthiest house in Houston. Be prepared before you enter," the listing warned. "The home really smells terrible but is getting better with time. It will need a lot of work. The pool is dark, mercury green. The power has been off for about a year."
Gomberg and his photographer also produced a 2+ minute YouTube video, highlighting the homes worst features.
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"Let's travel back in time three years ago, when this house was in its glory days," the video began, with glamour shots of the home in its better cared-for days.
But from there, Gomberg stuck with his plan to market the home as is, eventually showing viewers what the home looked like in its current state.
"Recently, 12 dogs, six cats and a potbelly pig lived here and converted this lovely home into a giant toilet," he continued in the video.
日本性文化His marketing idea seemed to work日本性文化, because shortly after, people were calling to view the home. Gomberg even gave a few limousine rides to a couple of people who wanted to see the home with their own eyes.
He started the listing around $180,000. After speaking with the short sale department at the couple's bank, Gomberg decided they needed to lower the price even more, considering the condition the house was in.
They lowered the price to $115,000, and offers ranging between between $115,000 and $216,000 started rolling in. The owners weren't satisfied though. They turned down about 40 offers because, even though the home was full of animal feces and had a smell you couldn't get rid of, they wanted $280,000.
"People would show up and come out holding their nose," said Gomberg. "I remember one person walking out and throwing up in the bushes. Another person wouldn't even go in. That's how bad it smelled."
Gomberg got used to it though. He tried his best to reason with the couple and get them to realize that a home in such 'disgusting' condition was not going to sell for almost $300,000, considering the amount of work that would have to be put into it.
After putting the home 日本性文化on and off the market for about eight months日本性文化, he eventually grew tired.
"The bank wasn't willing to deal on it at the time," he said. "There was nobody that was going to pay $280,000 for that home. That would be if the house was in great condition and only needed a little paint."
The home was beyond that.
"It became such a nuisance to me because the bank wasn't willing to budge on it," Gomberg said.
After about a year, Gomberg gave up. He talked to the seller and decided he was done. "I kind of walked away from it and never looked back. Here I am four and a half years later and I still get calls (about the home)."
Gomberg said he doesn't regret the way he marketed the home because at the time, his tactic worked. "My success has been based really on my counter intuitive to any normal real estate marketing," he said.
The bank eventually sold the home at a trustee's auction in 2018. Today, according to the Harris County Appraisal District, the home is appraised at $305,120.