2016’s Most Outrageous Real Estate Headlines. Can you Spot the Fake?


One of the strongest trending topics right now in both mainstream media as well as social media is the growth of “fake” news. It has dominated the final months of 2016. Add to that a year full of some off-the-wall (but real) real estate news and you have Housefax’s first ever game of Real or Fake? We rounded up some of the craziest headlines from 2016 and threw in a fictitious one. Can you spot the fake?

Headline #1: Realtor dons panda suit to sell a home

Real or Fake?

Not creepy at all...

In an effort to get more eyeballs on a Spring, TX, house that had been sitting on the market for three weeks, Realtor® Jessica Arnett tried a more eye-catching publicity stunt: She posed for new listing photos in a panda suit. Each image showed a human-size panda living large in the home: making dinner in the kitchen, lounging in the living room, chilling (to the extent that bears can chill) on the front porch.

Answer: Real!

Call it creepy or call it cute, it drummed up 12 showings in the first two days and eventually yielded a sale.

Headline #2: Woman living in a treehouse for 24 years is asked to move

Real or Fake?


Most people live in houses, but Shawnee Chasser prefers her tree. In fact, the 65-year-old has been living in her custom-made abode between the forked trunks of an oak and fig tree on her late son’s half-acre property in Biscayne Gardens, FL, for the past 24 years. Hey, if it makes her happy, who cares, right? Well, it turns out county officials do care, since they’ve deemed the treehouse to be unsafe.

Answer: Real (but there’s more to the story…)

The fact that she lives in the treehouse is only part of the problem. County officials concede that if the treehouse had been built with the proper permits and safety standards, there would be no problem. But, well, it wasn’t. And in an area prone to hurricanes, Chasser is endangering her own life, as well as guests who stay on her property, officials claim.

Headline #3: Author of ‘America’s Worst Place to Live’ relocates and says “It ain’t so bad”

Real or Fake?


In August 2015, Red Lake Falls, MN, was dubbed “the worst place to live” by Christopher Ingraham in the Washington Post. A year after making this damning proclamation, Ingraham wrote another Post article saying he’d never actually been there. When he eventually visited Red Lake Falls he realized he was wrong and decided to move there.

Answer: Real!

Ingraham has been living in Red Lake Falls for a year and now has nothing but raves about the place. “My relocation to Red Lake Falls has been a humbling reminder of the limitations of numbers,” Ingraham admits.

Headline #4: ‘Full House’ home sells for under asking — to best buyer ever

Real or Fake?


The “Full House” home has had one crazy year. In May, fans of the 1987–1995 sitcom swooned when the San Francisco house shown in the opening credits went up for sale for $4.15 million. Then fans gasped when the house sold for under asking price, at $4 million. Then, in December, news surfaced that the person who bought the place was none other than the show’s creator, Jeff Franklin.

Answer: Real!

As far as happy endings go for a home, we can’t imagine it gets much better than that!

Headline #5: Mannequin challenge draws attention to home sale

Real or Fake?


To promote a new waterfront listing in Cold Spring Harbor, Emmett Laffey decided to make it go viral. During a recent broker open house, Laffey filmed a mannequin challenge video. The trend involves a camera panning across people frozen in various actions while music, usually the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd, plays in the background.

Answer: Real!

Laffey posted the video on his Facebook page Dec. 1, and so far it’s been viewed more than 3,200 times.

Headline #6: Santa’s North Pole home is worth $657,000

Real or Fake?


Celebrity adds a premium to most properties and Santa Claus’ North Pole residence is no exception.

Zillow reported in December that Santa’s 2,500-square-foot historic house, is worth $656,957, thanks to a 78 percent “Santa Premium.” It was said to have been built in 1822 and remodeled in 2013. It sits on 25 acres and includes a toy workshop, sleigh parking garage and reindeer stables,

Answer: Fake (sort of!)

While it’s true that Zillow posted the story, it was all in good holiday (but fake) fun!


When it comes to real estate news, advice, and listings – don’t take anything for granted. Know the source, and verify the information with your real estate agent. And always get the ‘fax — the Housefax Report for the truth!

Source: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/craziest-real-estate-stories-of-2016/