A couple have taken a unique approach to buying a house by dropping flyers in the suburbs they want to live in - offering a $1000 reward to anyone who helps them purchase their dream home.
"Our family wants to buy your house", is how the flyer begins.
"We have just sold, and we are desperately looking to buy a new family home in the bays."
It offers a $1000 reward for the "successful purchase of your home" or a half share of that reward for anyone who refers a friend that sells the couple a house.
The flyer points out a private sale will cut out hefty agent fees, avoid the need for stressful open homes and marketing efforts including decluttering, and avoid being "mucked around" with conditional offers.
Steph and husband Paul, who don't want their surname published, planned to move from Mt Wellington to either Kohimarama or St Heliers in Auckland's eastern beaches.
But when they made offers on houses through real estate agents, on condition of the sale of their first home, they were repeatedly beaten.
Steph said that, coupled with fewer listings in the two suburbs, meant slim pickings for the pair who have a specific wish list.
"We are looking for four bedrooms or more, in the Kohi or St Heliers school zones, with enough outdoor area for kids to play outside."
Steph, 34, and Paul, 36, have a 1-year-old son and expect to grow their family in time.
The market researcher and sales engineer are also looking for a warm, dry house with a potential income stream through a granny flat or separate living space, and they hoped to be able to settle in November.
The couple, who have sold their house now, don't want a plaster home without a wall or roof cavity.
Steph has delivered about 500 flyers to letterboxes in the suburbs as well as to dairies, supermarkets, hair salons and other retail outlets.
She called the flyer a bit of "Kiwi ingenuity" and said the family was a taking a chance on word-of-mouth advertising.
"When you are fiercely passionate about the aspirations for your family you get creative. You get out your Kiwi ingenuity and try something a little outside the square.
"Even if it means sticking your neck out and exposing yourself far beyond your comfort zone."
The cash reward was an incentive to engage people's interest.
"I believe in reciprocity - if you want people to help you, you need to help them too."
Steph said buying their first home had been stressful but buying their second home was proving much more difficult.
So far the couple had only had received about four inquiries from the flyers, including by a person looking to sell their $5 million home, but none were suitable.
She said moving to those suburbs would give her family the lifestyle they enjoy.
"We love fish and chips on the beach, family walks and visiting the park."
And hopefully it will mean they don't have to move again for a long time.
Novel ways to sell a house
There's been plenty of weird and wacky ways to sell a house in the past, from real estate agents dressing up in costume to a raffle to raise money for a new church.
• During the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 a $5m Auckland mansion was offered for sale by reverse auction. Opposite to a standard house auction, it works by bids getting lower as buyers hold out for the lowest price.
• In 2016 a Tauranga home sold for $700,000 after the owners put it to auction with a $1 reserve. The sale price was above its council valuation of $598,000 but below estimates of $800,000 according to media reports at the time.
• A $1m house at Karapiro in the Waikato sold for a $25 raffle ticket in 2010. The raffle attracted 45,000 punters and raised $1.2m toward a new church for the owner, Pastor Murray Smith.
• Over the years agents have appeared in promo videos riding a child's bike, juggling fruit, roasting marshmallows, dressing up as the Blues Brothers, and even jumping off a cliff, to help sell a home.
• In May a couple offered their North Shore home for sale with the acceptance of at least half the $1.225m price tag in Bitcoin, while another homeowner offered a McLaren supercar with their Waitoki lifestyle block.