As a sales come-on, it was irresistible. A house in a tony section of the Toronto suburb of Oakville a stone's throw from Lake Ontario for one dollar.
Except, of course, you're not gonna get it for a dollar. The owners of the brand-new three-bedroom home used the ploy to spark interest in the custom-built house.
It worked, but apparently not well enough because they've pulled the house off the market for no despite receiving several offers, including two of around $700,000, according to the Toronto Star.
Real estate agent Vasia Argirls said the house was originally listed for $1.088 million before the owners dropped the price to a buck.
The novel gambit got people's attention. Some accused the owners of false advertising, with one commenter suggesting they were legally bound to accept the offer of a dollar. But about 170 people, some from far away, flocked to tour the house last weekend.
But the bidding war fizzled out about $200,000 short of the $900,000 the couple hoped to get for the place.
"I tried," says Argiris, "but the neighbourhood spoke and said that is just too much right now."
Argiris said neighbours who attended the open house criticized the home's decor and the original asking price, which they said was about $500,000 more than comparable homes in the area.
Argiris said the owners are from Europe, where house auctions are more common. They were living in the basement while the house was listed for sale but now plan to move upstairs until they feel it's time to put it on the market again.
Surprisingly, some two dozen homes have been listed for $1 in the Greater Toronto area in the last three years but only a few have sold for prices ranging from $315,000 to $1.5 million.