// Zillow Blog
An Austrian man’s desperate attempt to unload his Detroit investment property found a happy ending this week with a sale — and an iPhone 6.
Andreas Gindelhuber bought a $41,000 foreclosure on Detroit’s east side in 2010, hoping to make some money on it as a rental property. But the Detroit market continued to plummet, and home values on his street only worsened as neighbors walked away from their houses, leaving them vacant. When Gindelhuber’s tenants left seven months ago, he owed $6,000 in county property taxes. He hired a local agent, Larry Else, to sell the house.
Their rock bottom price of $3,000 found no takers after four months, so they had a brainstorm.
“I’d be willing to trade it for an iPhone 6 or an iPad 32 GB,” Else remembers Gindelhuber telling him.
“If you’re serious about that, I think that’s a really good idea that would make this listing stand out,” Else said.
Else had only peeked at the home, but he knew it would be hard to give away. The 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath colonial is smoke-damaged, missing all its doors and windows, and carries the $6,000 tax bill. There’s a chair on the roof of the porch. Else added the iPhone swap to his listing.
What happened next was one of those Internet miracles: The local Fox affiliate spotted the listing on Zillow and did a story. The listing went viral, and the house sold. Else wouldn’t share the sale price, but said it was less than $1,000, to a buyer who lives a block down on the same street.
“He loves the home and thinks it’s going to be a beauty,” Else said.
But Gindelhuber still didn’t have his iPhone 6. Wednesday morning, Else got an email from a German man who saw the story in a German magazine and wants to donate his iPhone 6.
“I’m not interested in this villa, but I wanted to donate my iPhone 6 to the seller of this house,” the man wrote in an email. “It’s brand new. … The advertisement touched me somehow.”
Photos courtesy of Larry Else.