Those all seem tame compared with this truly bizarre 2-acre property in Richmond, TX, which received 1.2 million page views in two days. That's a whole lotta eyeballs! So what exactly is grabbing everyone's attention?
At first glance, this five-bedroom, 5.5-bathroom home is a traditional two-story 7,406-square-foot gem, listed for $1,275,000. However, what exists inside the house is quite shocking. Nearly every room contains at least one mannequin, and most of them are clothed and posed in lifelike positions. Several mannequins—like one of a young girl wearing a swimsuit and platform shoes—hang from the ceiling. Others can be seen peeking into windows from the outside. You don't have to suffer from automatonophobia (a fear of mannequins, dummies, and wax figures) to be a little weirded out by this home.
So what's the deal with all the dummies?
Listing agent Diana Power with Re/Max tells realtor.com® that the homeowner is a renowned artist who works in several media: painting, needlework, crochet, jewelry design, and, yes, clothing design. Well, that explains the abundance of mannequins. "Being an artist, she turned them into playful, whimsical things," says Power.
It's one thing to own a bunch of dressed-up mannequins, but it's another thing to have them appear in your listing photos. Best practices for real estate photography suggest removing all personal belongings, so would-be homeowners can visualize themselves in the house.
Power says she allows her clients to have two to three items per counter and absolutely no personal pictures.
"But that doesn't work so well when you have so much stuff," she says, referring to the miscellaneous art and ephemera owned by this artist, who preferred to remain unnamed. "It would be so expensive to store everything." So Power gave her client a pass and let her keep everything—mannequins included—in the listing photos.
Unconventional photos don't necessarily bring the buyers
Does the case of the mannequin house-gone-viral indicate that kitschy listing photos can lead to a quick, surefire home sale? Not necessarily. The listing has been viewed by tons of people, but when we spoke to Power, she said she'd been fielding calls and replying to emails mostly from folks just looking for the backstory on the kooky photos. Two days' time brought plenty of curious souls, but no serious buyers.
Nonetheless, she's optimistic that all those eyeballs on the house will result in a sale.
So here it is, for your viewing pleasure (or dismay). How many mannequins can you find? We counted 20, although it's certainly possible we missed some.
Oh, in case you're wondering, if you buy this place, the mannequins are not included in the purchase price.