Just days after President Obama's apartment from his college days at Columbia University was put up for rent on Craigslist, the website UrbanTurf reported that the real estate website Redfin recently posted a sales listing on Mr. Obama's current residence - the White House.
The story was later reprinted by the website for NBC's Washington station before circling the web.
According to UrbanTurf, a site about real estate in Washington, Redfin had the 55,000 square foot presidential estate listed at $10 million and as being "For Sale by Owner."
But to the disappointment of prospective homebuyers, the ad was in fact a mistake, and the property is not actually up for sale. After the mistake was revealed, Redfin updated their site to note that the listing was an "Off-Market Property." (a picture of the corrected page is above)
Redfin released a statement today with their explanation as to how the error occurred.
"At Redfin we want to show all the homes for sale. So in addition to showing you homes for sale from MRIS, the MLS in DC, we also get for sale by owner homes for sale from Zillow, ForSaleByOwner.com and Oodle," the statement said. "Oodle in turn pulls for sale by owner homes from a number of different sources. Turns out one of those sources, Owners.com, shows the White House listed for sale."
Adding a bit of humor, Redfin added that the White House would be a "steal" at $10 million.
UrbanTurf also offered an explanation as to how this might have happened.
"It looks like Redfin software pulled an example listing from the website Owners.com by mistake," Mark Wellborn wrote. "That example listing was the White House."
A closer examination of the Owners.com listing shows that the post was intended to be used solely as an example.
The site prefaces their hokey description of the property with, "Want an example of a great listing? Here is a house everyone knows with a full description, lots of photos with captions and all the details filled in - It's not really for sale!"
And its description adds this: "Not for sale in a strict sense but available for the right person every 4 years with the proper combination of credit, charisma and drive. Special consideration given to applicants with an Electoral College rating of 270 or better."