Paul Kapasi had a problem and he knew it. June was flying by fast and with it went his hopes of quickly selling his Hudson home. When July rolls around, people start thinking summer house, not open house.

A one-time car salesman, Kapasi hit on an idea to draw attention and, with any luck, offers. Buy his $289,000, four-bedroom cottage on Main Rd., and he'll throw in a new car.

Kapasi parked the vehicle, a four-door Kia Magentis - retail value $24,925 - in front of his house last weekend. Nice car: automatic windows, air conditioning, sunroof, burgundy exterior. You can't really miss it. And dozens of passers-by haven't.

"It has been a bit of a conversation starter," Kapasi said during an interview in his living room on Tuesday. "The way I look at it, if you move to Hudson, you'll need a car. This kills two birds with one stone."

Not necessarily, he replied. Years in the car business taught him that getting people into the showroom was the most important step toward generating sales.

"You could have a perfectly good $9,000 car sitting there. If no one walks in the door, dropping the price to $7,000 won't help sell it," he said.

If he has to take a $25,000 hit on his house, he's going to do it in a way that generates headlines and buzz around town. Rather than catching the eye of one potential buyer, he's gambling that thousands will be intrigued by his free car offer.

Kapasi talked to three car dealerships about his idea. The first two were intrigued, but passed on the opportunity to park a shiny, new car in his yard, right across from the Hudson-Oka ferry crossing, for insurance reasons. The third, Boisvert Kia of Blainville, had no such concerns. Kapasi talked to president Mario Boisvert after seeing some of the dealership's cars on display at the Place Rosemere mall.

The market has shifted. Recent statistics show the Hudson market now has 10 listings for every buyer. The real-estate board calls that a balanced market, favouring neither buyers nor sellers. Kapasi's agent, Paul Laflamme of the Royal LePage Cavagnal office in Hudson, calls it flat.

Lots of vendors will throw in extras to close a deal - patio furniture, light fixtures, appliances. But this is the first time he's experienced such Price Is Right-calibre razzmatazz.

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