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Realtor, family play the Sanjaya card
Realtor Dennis Fletcher is hoping that the Sanjaya fever hasnt cooled since American Idol.
Sanjaya Malakar, 17, of Federal Way, was one of the most loved and hated contestants on American Idol this season before getting voted off at seventh place.
Despite being voted off the popular television talent show, Sanjaya remained wildly popular with his fans. In August, he was voted winner of the 2007 Teen Choice Awards for Best Male Actor in a Reality Show.
Now, the family plans to sell their Federal Way home and move to Hollywood where Sanjaya, his sister Shyamali and his soon-to-be stepfather Chad Quist can pursue their musical careers.
Fletcher has taken the task of selling the family home, where Sanjaya lived for two years before auditioning for American Idol.
The house, built in 1963, has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a bonus room with a recording studio. It is on the market for $360,000 a reasonable price, Fletcher said.
People are insistent on saying that I came up with the price of the house based on Sanjaya, he said. This house is a great house. It is definitely worth $360,000 or more.
The price doesnt include a Sanjaya premium, Fletcher said. But he is using the teens fame as a marketing tool to sell the house.
They have to say that Im using the Sanjaya card, which, of course, I am. But I think we all are, he said. Were trying to do it tastefully. I want to shed good light on Sanjaya. I dont want to exploit him or make him feel uncomfortable.
As part of his marketing strategy, Fletcher has appeared in local newspapers and on Evening Magazine. He distributed Sanjaya T-shirts and pasted stickers of Sanjaya on the back of his business card. The fliers in front of the house have autographed pictures of Sanjaya on the back. The online slideshow with images of the house features Sanjaya singing in the background.
Sanjayas mother and stepfather approved of the marketing plan, Fletcher said.
I think there are people that will buy a house based on that status thing, but am I counting on that to sell the house? No, Fletcher said. Im looking for serious buyers and theyll be pleased when they come. Its a good value for the house... Its not a rundown neighborhood. Its close to all the amenities.
Selling the house Sanjaya lived in has posed a slight challenge, Fletcher said. Hes received up to 20 calls a day, many of them prank calls.
Whos really serious about buying and whos just a fan, thats the challenge, he said. But thats going to be easy to detect. If theres an offer in, its going to be in writing.
Quist, Sanjayas soon-to-be stepfather, said the family hopes that Sanjayas fame will help sell the house more quickly. They plan to move to Hollywood next month.
I think its really the place to be, Quist said. Im confident about it. I think thats where the majority of the work in the entertainment industry is.
Sanjaya is currently on an American Idol tour, Quist said. The teen has already received offers in Hollywood, but Quist declined to be more specific.
Until its a done deal, its just talk, he said.
The family doesnt see any significant risk associated with moving to Hollywood, Quist said.
Housing is a little bit more expensive down there, so I suppose were at risk of losing a little bit of money, he said. But other than that, I dont really see a risk in doing it.
Contact Margo Horner: firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 925-5565.