(NEXSTAR) – It may not be anyone’s dream house, but it is definitely the house of their nightmares.
A real estate agent in Louisiana – successfully – marketed an abandoned house by playing on one of the strangest aspects of the property: a pair of terrifying dolls left behind by a previous owner.
âI did it just to draw attention to the house, because the house was so hideous and horrible,â said Tony Bertucci by NOLA Living Realty. âI wanted to do something to illuminate the photos of the house.
Bertucci, a resident of New Orleans, tells Nexstar that he is in fact the current owner of the house, which is located near Metairie. He bought it with the intention of fixing it and selling it, but Hurricane Ida upended his plans.
âWe were recovering from catastrophic damage,â said Bertucci, whose properties were affected in the hurricane. âSo that took precedence over some of the renovation projects. “
Hoping to sell the house quickly, he figured he would try to attract attention by digging up the disturbing dolls and placing them prominently in the list of photos.
Surprisingly, Bertucci said he was soon speaking with potential buyers, some of whom were wondering if the house was haunted or wanted to know more about the dolls.
âI just told them the dolls were my customers,â Bertucci joked. “I said they were selling because the house was way too big for them.”
The house was finally under contract after just a day on the market, thanks in large part to the buzz generated by Bertucci’s dolled up photos. In fact, Realtor.com determined that the listing was its most popular last week, generating tens of thousands of clicks largely thanks to the dolls.
âAnd when we say dolls, we don’t mean they’re cute, adorable or cuddly,â Realtor.com wrote in its listing cover. “No, these dolls are sinister – and make an ideal match for this decrepit residence.
When asked if he was bothered by Realtor.com repeatedly suggesting that the dolls and the house were scary, Bertucci said no.
âI mean, that’s pretty spot on,â he said of the site article. “I was scared just watching the photographer take the pictures.”