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Fri, Dec. 06

Trying to 'SPEED' up the sale

Rich and Jeanne Darrow stand next to the 1999 Subaru they are including as an incentive to the buyer of their Prescott Valley home. The Darrow¹s, unlike many others, plan to move back to California to be closer to family.

Courier/Les Stukenberg

Rich and Jeanne Darrow stand next to the 1999 Subaru they are including as an incentive to the buyer of their Prescott Valley home. The Darrow¹s, unlike many others, plan to move back to California to be closer to family. Courier/Les Stukenberg

PRESCOTT VALLEY ­ Rich and Jeanne Darrow are trying to speed up the sale of their home.

To entice a prospective buyer, the Darrows are throwing in a 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback wagon to sell their roughly 1,450-square-foot home.

"We're kind of situated where we need to get all we can because we're moving back to California," Rich said. " It's a negotiating point. Some people will want a car and others won't. Of course, we'd sell either one separately."

Rich said they ran an advertisement to sell the home and hosted an open house in mid-June offering cookies and ice cream as an incentive.

Both efforts had mixed results, according to Rich, who said they've given away more than 100 flyers listing the two-bedroom home and received two phone calls.

"No one's been interested in the car and the home together," he said.

The couple moved to the community a couple of years ago and planned to retire here.

Children and grandchildren are pulling them back to the 'Golden State.'

"We're a little bit gypsy, I think ­ or my wife is," he joked.

Rich said they aren't pressing to sell the home.

"We don't have another house we've put money down on so we're in a good position for that," he said.

Rich parks the car in the driveway with the front of the car facing the street, and a fluorescent pink sign on the car's windshield screams to passersby.

"People will stop to read it," he said. "It's an attention-getter."

A local real estate professional said tossing in a free car to help sell a home is new to her.

Jeri Ann Kooiman, owner of Kooiman Realty, said she has heard of homeowners throwing in a hot tub or swing set to sell a home.

She has nearly 20 years experience in the real estate market and suggests the couple use caution.

"I've never seen anybody throw in a car," she said. "I don't know that I would do that myself. I think they can pull it off; they just need to make sure that they put everything in writing."

Kooiman also offered to help the couple for free.

Jeanne got a kick out of her husband's idea. "I laughed and rolled my eyes," she laughed. "When he comes up with these ideas, I go, 'oh no.'"

Contact the reporter at jsoifer@prescottaz.com

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