The increasing number of for sale signs on Edmonton front lawns are, well, a sign of the times.
The weak economy and sluggish housing market has one Edmonton family trying a unique approach to selling their Windermere home — cash for sharing their listing if it is successful.
Tess Aboughoushe's duplex has been on the local market since November and there's been little interest from buyers. Despite two price reductions, she doubts there's been more than two showings up to this month.
"It kind of hurts because a couple of years ago a property just a few doors down, with the same square footage, a smaller lot and without a finished basement, sold for about ten grand more than what we've currently got as our asking price," she said. "So we know the market is definitely a lot softer than it was."
Now she's trying something different to drum up potential buyers. Aboughoushe is asking people on Facebook to share the listing for a little incentive.
"If you share the ad and the person mentions your ad when they're buying the property, then we'll give you $500 straight up," she said.
The strategy seems to be working, with more than 130 people sharing the listing in under 48 hours.
"I've already got several private messages on Facebook asking me about the property, where we didn't have any of that kind of contact beforehand."
This week the Realtors Association of Edmonton released its annual housing forecast, projecting an overall decline of 2.3 per cent in sales for the coming year, mainly due to the economy.
The association's forecast calls for residential sales to dip below 17,000 units for the year, down from 17,298 in 2015.
Aboughoushe said her family has bought and sold several properties over the years but never experienced a slow market like this.
"This is the first time we've had a house sit for more than two weeks," she said.
She acknowledged this is not the best time of the year to sell a home, but doesn't think that's the only reason the property isn't drawing interest.
"I definitely think the current economy has something to do with it," Aboughoushe said.
Aboughoushe's family decided to move in order to be closer to her daughter's school and her husband's work.
Fortunately they haven't bought another home yet and are hopeful everything will balance out.
"We'd like to think that because we're looking to move within the city, that everyone else is having the same issues," she said. "So if we have to devalue our house, everyone has to devalue theirs and we're kind of calling it a wash at that point."