Real Estate Trend Watch: House Stalking

The housing market has rebounded enough that there’s actually a shortage of homes to buy, which is why some prospective buyers are simply sending love letters to homes they like–or the people who own them, anyway–to see if maybe they can persuade them to move out. It might seem a little creepy, but actually formalized the practice long ago.

Zillow’s Make Me Move function allows homeowners to post their properties on the website for an idealized asking price. They’re not officially on sale, but if someone comes along and is willing to pay that amount, the process can kick into gear. If no one bites, well, that’s okay. If the owners wanted to get serious about selling, they’d do it a different way–and they still have that option down the line.

One important note for homeowners considering creating a Make Me Move post: Not every member of your family will necessarily be on board with this real estate lark. Some of them–the canines, for instance–may deliberately insert themselves into every photo you take to send a message to potential buyers: “Don’t even think about it. This is my happy place.”

Below are the listings photos from a Make Me Move house in Northern Liberties. The asking price is $500,000 for the two-bedroom, two-bath apartment. The dogs are not on board.

living room2

837 North 2nd St #205, Philadelphia, PA 19123
How to buy a dream house that is not for sale [Reuters]