Faith in Real Estate: Using Divine Intervention to Sell Homes
Of course, there's no way to prove that the St. Joseph statue had any effect on her home sale, but there is one reason to keep the faith. The national median number of days that a home sits on the market before being sold is 107, according to listing website Trulia. The National Association of Realtors pegged that number even lower in a recent survey: just 69 days. That's far less than the year that Berkowitz's home went unsold before she buried the statue. And the three weeks that it took to sell after the statue was buried is way ahead of the trend.
Berkowitz called the statue "a good omen" and even returned to the home after she moved out to retrieve it. She's now in the market for a new vacation house, and she hopes the statue will lead her to the perfect place.
"You never know," she said.
'A 'Rosemary's Baby'-Type Thing'When Xonex Relocation, a company that helps CEOs move and works with real estate agents to sell the homes that they leave behind, was having trouble unloading a client's house in a small Michigan town 3½ years ago, company officials turned to a local church for assistance. Someone had died in the home some time before, said Bill Humphrey, Xonex managing director. "The general consensus of the town was that the house was haunted," Humphrey said. "One Realtor said that she could see her breath in one room." The company would park new cars in the driveway -- anything to bring more appeal to the home. But nobody wanted to work with the listing, so Xonex reps called in a priest from a local church -- to perform an exorcism on the house. "It was a 'Rosemary's Baby'-type thing," Humphrey said. The company paid $1,500 for a two-hour session that involved the priest blessing the home and other rituals. "We knew word-of-mouth about the exorcism would spread," Humphrey said. "Realtors felt so much better to represent the home." Three weeks after the exorcism, the house sold, Humphrey said.
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