Q: I have a home in Delaware. It’s been listed for sale for almost four years. I’m wondering if it would be possible to sell my home via a real estate lottery or a house raffle, so that I can move on with my life?
A: Unfortunately, you will not be able to sell your home via a lottery or house raffle, because in most states house lotteries are illegal. Many people have inquired about this method of selling a home but if they try it, they’ll run afoul of the laws in their state.
If you had donated your home to a church or other house of worship, that church might be able to sell the home in a lottery or house raffle. Many states have laws that permit charities and houses of worship to conduct lotteries and raffles and even house raffles and house lotteries. But based on lottery rules, the proceeds of the lottery would have to stay with the church. So, this probably won’t help too many desperate homeowners.
While it seems that the lottery or a game of chance might be a worthwhile strategy to use in these times of financial difficulties, the laws in some states specifically state that real estate can’t be sold via lottery.
Some laws even require charities to register their lotteries and raffles with local law enforcement departments and make it a crime to conduct raffles and lotteries when not done strictly in accordance with state laws and local ordinances.
Instead of trying to unload your house in a lottery or house raffle, consider hiring an auction company to auction off your property to any interested bidders.
E-bay also has an active real estate site and you may be able to auction your property that way. A properly-structured auction may drive the kind of traffic you’re interested in, and allow you to sell your property relatively quickly.
Many people these days try to advertise their homes for sale in all places possible, including Zillow, Craigslist and even set up websites for their home. You’re better off trying one of these other ways of selling your home rather than run afoul of the law trying to sell your home or house in a lottery or house raffle.