AN OAKES woman who offered her four-bedroom home as a competition prize has failed to give it away – despite the fact that the tickets cost only £5.
She sold only 63 tickets.
Late last year the Examiner featured the story of Christine Heather, who set up a contest offering her property on Reinwood Road as the star prize.
Desperate for a quick sale but concerned by the uncertain housing market, she rejected the traditional method of house selling in the hope that her novel approach would drum up more interest from buyers and help her clinch the deal she needed to sell up.
People taking part in the competition had to guess how much it cost Christine to run her home for a year, taking into account expenses like gas, electricity, water and garden maintenance.
If the cash from the £5 entries raised reached £350,000, Christine had pledged to give the keys to her home to the person with the guess closest to the £2,430.93 it actually takes to run.
If it was below the target, she planned to give 70% of the total prize money to the winner, with 10% being donated to homeless persons’ charity Shelter.
The contest attracted a lot of media interest and Christine and her home were featured on radio and TV programmes.
But Christine sold only 63 tickets – 69,937 shy of the number she needed to sell to hit her target amount.
The competition, run via her website, www.keystomyhouse.co.uk, has now closed and Christine has given 70% of the total £315 collected to a Marsden woman who had the closest answer to the question.
Christine said the house would have been a real bargain for only a few pounds with its four bedrooms, en-suite and family bathroom, detached garage, lawned gardens and patio.
She said she had hoped to buy a new property to live in with her elderly mother which could better suit their needs. But now, because of the volatile market, she has no option but to hold onto her home and adapt it for her mother’s needs instead.
She said: “I am extremely disappointed. I had quite a bit of publicity and even that didn’t help me sell tickets. In the end I decided to close the competition because there was no point flogging a dead horse.”
“I had wanted to sell the house quickly so I could buy a house for my mum, who is 80, and I. The plan was to find somewhere with a granny flat so she could keep a bit of her independence.
Christine says her advice to people thinking of avoiding the traditional selling route and running a competition like hers is this: don’t do it!
She said: “A few people have said to me that they’re thinking of doing the same thing, but after my experience I would tell them not to waste their time– unless they live in a very expensive area.
“But I would like to thank everybody who did take part and say I’m really sorry that their dream wasn’t realised.”