That’s what Silicon Valley broker Ken DeLeon is trying to find out by listing an apartment in Mountain View, Calif. for $1 earlier this week.
DeLeon, who owns Palo Alto-based DeLeon Realty Inc., said that the experiment will let the market determine the condo’s value, which he personally estimates is around $350,000. He began taking offers on Thursday via silent auction, which will run for another two weeks.
“There is no loan on this property, so whatever it goes for that day will be the sale price, even if it’s $1,” DeLeon said in a statement.
The two-bedroom home measures 935 square feet and includes a large balcony for entertaining, vaulted-ceiling dining area with exposed beams and “marble-like tile” in the one bathroom.
And yes, this dollar-menu listing is legal: a spokesman for the California Department of Real Estate, Tom Pool, told Inman News that state law does not mention the pricing of listings. However, if a seller is not actually willing to accept the price that a home is listed for, underpricing a listing could constitute misleading advertising or a breach of the Realtor Code of Ethics.
“So, if the owner of the condo in question is willing to sell it for a buck, so be it,” Pool told Inman News.
Sellers are required to disclose reserve prices, but there isn’t one for DeLeon’s condo.
On Nov. 8, DeLeon will take the top five bids and conduct a final bidding round before choosing the highest offer. He’s banking on the high demand for housing in the Mountain View area, which is littered with tech giants such as Google and LinkedIn; a house DeLeon sold several weeks ago closed for $300,000 over the asking price of $3 million, and six weeks ago, he sold his personal home for $2.5 million, which was $500,000 over the listing price.
If these photos below, courtesy of DeLeon, make your economical heart go pitter-patter, you can bid here.