Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A New Type of Bounty Hunter

When someone mentions bounty in Hawaii, "Dog the Bounty Hunter" may come to mind. But a Windward Oahu couple is coming up with their own bounty, to sell their home.

Linda Harris and her husband haven't found much success in the real estate market these days. That's why they're offering a $100,000 bounty to anyone who can find a buyer for their two properties. So far, 12 people have stepped forward to work for that bounty.

"It's almost like a game show," Harris said. "It's got that same kind of energy and life that probably a game show has."

After dropping the price more than a half-million dollars on their Windward Oahu home, Linda Harris and her husband couldn't resist putting out a bounty to sell it.

"When the idea came up, it was like, wow, this will work, let's put it out into the world, so we talked about it and we think we have at least enough business sense to make it work," she said.

Both professors at UH, they started out by telling their grad students about it. Those two properties sit near the ocean. This home in Hauula is listed for $1.7 million and a 38-acre piece of land on the Big Island is on sale for $1.2 million.

"A few people have called and I've actually talked with them and they're oh, wow, this will cure my ills, I'll be able to pay my tuition, I'll be able to get my family in gear and they're out hunting," she said. "I'd rather see people gain from it, rather than an advertising company or a news organization, I'd rather see individuals gain from it."

The reward would be paid out by escrow when the properties have closed.

"Hopefully this is a great lesson in how creativity and innovation can result in something good for a lot of people," she said.

Harris says the bounty is legal. A state law allows one bounty per year for real estate. So far, a bounty hunter found a couple in California who came down to look at the home. Harris says the couple is now thinking it over.

If you're interested in getting the reward, you'll have to register with Harris. E-mail her at llharris@hawaii.edu.

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