The listing, for a five-bedroom home in the Detroit suburb of Oak Park with an asking price of $165,000, began making the rounds on social media after local homeowners and agents noticed the white powder in one of the property photos. Some speculated the owners had left lines of cocaine and forgot to put them away when taking photos.
After local news outlet WXYZ looked into the listing, the boyfriend of the woman selling the house came out and said he had included the photo as a joke. The white lines, he said, were from Goody’s Headache Powder.
“I was like, I’m wondering if I did something like this if anybody would even notice or if somebody did notice it, that it would go viral and it went viral,” said the boyfriend, who identified himself only as Jeff. “It went too viral.”
According to WXYZ, the listing drew 29,000 views in one day while Jeff received hundreds of texts and phone calls.
Since going viral, Zillow removed the photo for being in violation of its policy. Jeff replaced it with a photo of the Goody’s packaging to hammer home the point that it wasn’t cocaine.
Over the years, agents have tried unconventional tricks to draw attention to a listing — one staged a sexy photo shoot while another dressed up in a giant dinosaur costume. The question of whether such attention-grabbing techniques actually work to sell the home is still being debated.
“I wouldn’t recommend anyone staging something like that to try and gain interest in a home or any piece of property,” an Oak Park police lieutenant told WXYZ.