Justin Bieber surprised fans and real estate agents this month by announcing on Instagram his desire to sell the $8.5 million mansion where he and wife Hailey Baldwin live. The “I don’t care” singer uploaded more than a dozen photos of the Beverly Hills property with captions, asking his 120 million followers to “make an offer.”
“I’ll sell it with all the furniture,” Bieber wrote under another photo. “MAKE AN OFFER.”
But even with Bieber’s massive following and fan base, trying to sell property on Instagram without an agent is a risky idea.
We hope he has a professional to screen “interested buyers.” And after seeing the photos, we would suggest that Bieber hire a professional photographer and a staging expert. The photos make the rooms look cramped and awkward, and the decor does nothing to add to their appeal.
Beverly Hills agent Jade Mills wrote in Inman News why marketing a listing only on Instagram is a recipe for disaster for the average seller–who isn’t Justin Bieber, or doesn’t have fans clamoring to live in a home he once owned.
“Instagram is a good way to supplement and market a home but it is not effective when used on its own,” said Mills, the president of Jade Mills Estates.
Here are three things Mills says to consider when listing a home on Instagram:
1) Non-targeted follower base
As most agents know, a lot of eyeballs won’t necessarily lead to a sale—especially if most of the people you’re showing the house to are in no way qualified to buy a home. Even with Bieber’s enormous follower base a sale is unlikely.
The response to the photos of the home speak for themselves. Hordes of followers replied with offers of $1, $5 and, in one case, “$150 and six chicken wings.” (Also, an offer reportedly did come in from a billionaire.)
“The reach that an agent has is far greater than just one avenue to advertise,” Mills said. “Although [Bieber] has many followers, we make sure that the people who are coming to see homes are actually qualified to buy them.”
Mills had a chance to learn how private Bieber is in real life. Her team of agents had been working to sell a house one street over from Bieber’s Beverly Hills home when one of the star’s security staff saw the agents taking drone photos of the other home and immediately came over to ask what they were doing. Putting photos on Instagram so prominently is certain to attract those who want to come over and see where Bieber lives rather than buy it, Mills said.
“They saw the drone thinking that it was someone invading his privacy,” Mills said. “So I know that he is really private.”
With an estimated net worth of $265 million, Bieber may not be too concerned about getting top dollar for the house. Nonetheless, hiring an agent is still the best way for homeowners to ensure they’re not losing out on what the house is worth. In the heat of an instant online offer, sellers may not necessarily take the time to consider whether what they’re getting is indeed a good deal.
“It’s a beautiful new home and it is very desirable,” Mills said. “And I know that there are lots of real estate agents who could possibly have a client for that home.”