For many of us, the 1991 psychological horror film, ‘The Silence of the Lambs’, holds a special but alarming place in our memories. This spooky season, you have the chance to teleport yourself to the residence of serial killer Buffalo Bill with a Matterport 3D tour. You can even purchase the home, if you so desire, because it’s now on the market! With much of the original, creepy charm of the movie itself, you can step into the sleuthing shoes of FBI agent, Clarice Starling, as you make your way through the three-story home and down into the basement.
We connected with Realtors Eileen Allan and Shannon Assad of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty to learn more about what the estate is like in person, as well as their experience marketing such a famous property.
Sisters Eileen Allan and Shannon Assad pictured in front of the infamous home the day the space was captured in 3D.
Q: What inspired the 3D capture of ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ House?
We know there is a huge fan following for the movie The Silence of the Lambs. The owner of the house told us he even has fans periodically stopping by and knocking on his door to ask for a tour or to take a picture in the foyer! So when we started to plan our marketing ideas to get the home the most exposure, we knew we had to have a matterport to allow fans from all over the world a chance to walk through the home room by room. Or to retrace the steps Clarice made in the movie!
Q: What are the “must-sees” you want visitors to explore and why?
The first thing all movies fans want to see is the basement! Usually we we only do scans of finishes spaces but we told the videographer to capture every inch of the home, even the creepy basement!! But as you will see, there is no scary pit (that part of the movie was filmed on a sound stage).
We also have a basket with lotion in the house...can you find it!?
We hung a movie poster in the second floor office for fans to find. But the other office decor is all the owners! He actually works for the FBI! He received his credentials the same year the movie was filmed!
There is a hidden second staircase in one of the bedrooms, it’s kind of creepy!
Something funny for visitors to find: the day we had this filmed our team was at the home with the owner, he made everyone a big pitcher of lemonade and we were drinking and walking through the home and hearing stories about the property. We all stayed upstairs while the downstairs was being scanned. Then we swapped floors with our video guy. When we were looking at the matterport a few days later we noticed one of use left our red solo lemonade cup in one of the upstairs rooms!!
Q: What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after exploring the house?
It’s not scary! It’s actually a beautiful historic home with so much character. They just don’t build homes like this anymore! And its really cool to imagine all the people that have lived in or visited this home during the past 110 years!
The Sisters and their team posing in front of Buffalo Bill’s house.
Q: The house has three levels, a basement and some tight staircases. What was your experience capturing the space?
We hire a videographer. During Covid we actually suggested they buy a matterport and we promised them we would hire them for some of our listings. Little did we know that a few months later we would be asking them to scan this famous home! But they said it was no problem doing the scans in this home! And you will see, it flows great!!!
Q: What advantages does the 3D tour provide (for you and/or prospects)?
Especially during Covid, the 3D tour has been so helpful to allow buyers a chance to see the home in more detail than just a picture but they can do it from the safety of their home!
Plus with a super famous home like this, we didnt want to risk anything with Covid and advertise an open house that would attract hundreds of movie fans in a confined space.
We love how it allows people to look around the home at their leisure and they get to narrate their own tour by picking which way people go.
It would be really cool to see the data if it’s available for whats the most popular route viewers take!!! Does everyone go straight from the Foyer through the dining and into the kitchen and turn and go down the basement just like Clarice in the movie??
Q: What are the challenges of marketing a property with a famous history?
We’ve been bombarded with calls, text and emails and we dont want to miss a serious buyer but most of the questions are coming from movie fans and the media.
So i think it’s a fine line between marketing the home and also keeping things private since this is someone’s private residence and the new owner will most likely keep this as a private residence (unless they go the route of making it an Air BnB or Bed and Breakfast; which we have some KILLER IDEAS if they want to do that!!!)
But our end goal is to get our client the highest price possible in the shortest amount of time so while it’s been fun to market the home with so much national attention, we want to make sure we get it sold fast too!