Funny Real Estate: A Bear in the House!

Real estate agents are getting increasingly creative. We’ve seen houses staged with limes in every room, with (*ahem*) models lounging provocatively around the house, with Don and Betty Draper wannabes, and even a tipsy doll (one of my personal faves).

This listing in Raleigh, North Carolina, takes its own approach by telling a story about a bear that sneaks into the house and, well, see for yourself:

The bear made a beeline to the kitchen, of course:

Laura, the reader who sent me this listing, points out that it’s kind of like a reverse Goldilocks story, with a bear sneaking into the house instead of a little girl.


Oh, my.  Is he on the potty?

Bath time:

Playing dress-up:

Story time:

Sadly, this story doesn’t have the happy ending you’d expect. Looks like the bear was found dead in the living room at the end of the day:

You can see more photos of the bear in the house (yes, there are more!) on Trulia.

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  1. says

    This is waaaaaaaaaay too cutesy (bordering on insane) for me. It wouldn’t put me off the house if I were interested, but I would never hire that realtor. Or want to run across her in the woods. 😉

    I do give her props for trying, though.

  2. Sarah says

    I love it!!! :) So funny and cute, made me laugh, especially the one in the bath tub :)

  3. says

    Oh…. Only YOU to make me laugh like this!!!! GOSH! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Hilarious!!!!!


    Luciane at

    PS: Julia, I know you love cottages… come take a look at the one I’m posting today. So darling! :-)

  4. Farmeress says

    I LOVED it!!! As an oft moved person (transfers) and sometimes with little more than a day or two to find a house, I quickly sorted through listings concentrating on pictures, square footage & number of baths & bedrooms once I got the good school district in place & recreational amenities located nearby. These would be rapid looks. The bear, would have been both tasteful comic relief and (well appreciated in the frenzy of search), and worth a second look at the listing. Being a simple, single eye-catcher (not to mention cute,warm & lovable) it also served to give depth and perspective to empty room sizes. A simple to the searching eye, house guide such as Teddy-Buy-this-house for me is a clever salesman asset!If the house were furnished I am less sure…..

  5. handbright says

    I’m kinda loving this. Sure beats buying one flower and moving it from room to room!

  6. says

    OMG THAT IS HILARIOUS!!! Who does that? It’s time to develop a new sales stratey methinks. Unless the market is 7 year olds with an affinity for bears…

  7. says

    that was funny. it was a little distracting but if i was serious about buying a house, i would definitely look at the pictures again, but looking less at the bear. i would have to say that i would love to meet the agent. i think it might work to get someone’s attention.

  8. says

    So many houses are staged today with lovely furniture. For a Realtor dealing with a totally empty house, the bear is one of the more clever attempts to fill the void. The house looks well cared for – and the bear made the listing stand out.

    I wonder why she didn’t have the bear at the picnic table in the wooded backyard…

    In the end, I think the Realtor probably achieved her goal of making it stand out from other listings.

  9. says

    I think it would have been better if the bear was only used in about half of the pictures. I think it’s too cutesy that he’s in, but as someone pointed out upthread, the Realtor is doing the best they can with an otherwise empty house. I don’t know if seeing the bear would push me to check out the house, but it’s definitely memorable.

  10. says

    The bear mostly distracts the viewers from looking at the house itself. They may just skip wanting to see the “bear house”. This house doesn’t look like it needs anything to distract you, other than some furniture maybe.

  11. says

    Clever? Sure. I think he may have actually made some of the rooms–like the toilet scene–look smaller. This would be great as a side show…have only some of the pics with it in it, or have a property site with the full “story.” How many times can you use this anyway? I think a bit better story is to have the Realtor use it across several listings, not all in the same one. Needless to say, I don’t plan on finding a bear in my listings. :)

  12. says

    Too cutesy and unprofessional on the Realtor’s part. The Kitchen photo was especially distracting–I couldn’t see the sink fixtures or the window sill.

  13. Susan F. says

    My favorite pic is the “reading Bear” because they even have the Bear sitting crossed legged like a little kid would do. LOL!

  14. says

    Yup, reverse & very twisted Goldilocks where the bear appears to pass out drunk under a window, reserving a mixing bowl “just in case”. Someone give the poor guy a Gatorade!

    • Shabby Chick says

      He wasn’t staged like a drunk about to vomit. He was sitting in the dining room for his meal – there was no table so he had to sit on the floor!

  15. T. says

    I think word is getting out about your blog, Julia, and realtors all over the country are scheming to be featured on Hooked on Houses.

  16. Mike says

    I have to admit I thought this was rather entertaining. Perhaps because I just bought that same bear for my nephew.

  17. Kim says

    This was too cute and funny that it made me laugh. I showed this to my niece and nephew, and they both thought the bear was a lot of fun.

  18. says

    They couldn’t have had him drinking a martini or reading a newspaper in the living room? Or maybe he drank his martini off screen and he’s passed out. IDK, it’s amusing but a little hokey. I would not my own house staged like this if it were for sale. Still, this trend promises many funny listings in the future as realtors try to upstage eachother’s fantasy staging. Next we’ll have an entire bear family or teens dressed in Harry Potter costumes instead of Don & Betty Draper.

  19. says

    Different but is it effective? If it helps sell a house, I will be driving around with a big stuffed animal with me everyday…..

  20. girlofthehollow says

    You laugh, but my granddaughter moved into a cottage in Virginia, and they had to clean bear “prints” off the walls. Seems a bear had got in but couldn’t find it’s way out and kinda went bananas, leaving paw prints everywhere!

  21. Douglas Thompson says

    This is horrible, the pictures are not at all flattering of the house and don’t highlight any of it’s features.

  22. says

    OK…I am going to bet that most people would look at this and wonder what, exactly, the realtor had been smoking. I, on the other hand, look at this and think this is a realtor who would be a lot of fun to work with.

  23. Sarah says

    I think the bear pics are brilliant! They are so cute and tasteful (not like the creepy doll in every room). And they just gave me a good vibe about the house. I would look twice at that house for sure. Kudos to the realtor for her/his creativity! As for the final pic of the bear sprawled on the floor… I don’t view it as a dead bear, rather, I read that as a very happy bear doing a gleeful carpet angel in celebration of finding such a perfect house!

  24. cbean says

    Totally charming.

    And after looking at the bear pictures, it’s easy to backtrack and give a closer look at the house.


  25. Lisa T. says

    I’m from Raleigh and thought it was a hoot! My only complaint, is the bear should have had a better ending.

  26. says

    hahaha! I love the last picture the best. This is too funny, and I agree Julia, I found myself focusing on the bear and not the actual pictures of the house. What will they think of next?

  27. says

    You made a great point there, at the end of the post I realized I hadn’t looked at a single thing in the house and all I could remember was the bear.

  28. Tammy says

    Curious if you get permission to use these photos on your blog?

  29. says

    It takes all kinds. As a pro stager, I would not indulge a homeowner in bears, witches or any other kitschy attempts to be remembered. What is remembered is a clean house in great condition with possibilities that appeal to the potential buyer.

    We should add at this point that should our little house be ever in MLS, Pontifical will be TDY.

  30. says

    Me thinks the stager was looking for the easy way out. Wagging the bear around is a lot easier than moving in some rented furniture and arranging it.

  31. says

    Hi Julia – that’s so funny!!! I can’t “bear” it…Love it.

    Take a look at my last post on my staging blog – one of the first pics features a bear!



  32. scott h. says

    i like this set of photos, but that last one with the bear laying on the ground reminds me of the Febreeze commercials where the stuffed animals come out of the toy chest the mom just put them in so they can smell the scent of the Febreeze.

  33. says

    Hey it’s cute but it’s definitely not effective. Totally takes away from the house – all I looked at was the bear. I don’t remember what the house looked like at all.

    It’s great to try to make your home stand out from the crowd but effective staging and professional photography is definitely going to make the house memorable and not the gimmicks.