In the world of real estate, superstitions abound.
Perhaps driven by sheer desperation, say, a house that’s been on the market for months and just won’t sell, or a home that’s in less-than-optimal condition, real estate agents and homeowners alike have been known to take some drastic measures.
Take, for example, the legend of St. Joseph. Over the years, St. Joseph has become the patron saint of real estate. Have a home that won’t sell? Simply head online, purchase a St. Joseph statue –they’re available for $9.95 –and wait for it to arrive in the mail. Once it shows up, you simply bury it in the yard, or, in a pot, if you’re in a condo or don’t have a yard, and wait for the statue to do its work. Some say that the statue can help a home to sell much faster than it would otherwise. Others insist that it can even help to ensure a competitive price, no matter what the current state of the housing market.
Different sources recommend varying methods for burying the statue. Here’s a look at a few common, yet conflicting, instructions on where, and how to bury St. Joseph:
- Upside down, near the ‘For Sale’ sign
- Right side up
- In the backyard
- Lying on its back, pointing towards the house
- Facing the house
- Facing away from the house
- Three feet away from the rear of the house
- Exactly 12 inches deep
Once the home is sold, proponents say that the statue should be unburied, and given a place of honor in the new home.
While opinions vary widely on the effectiveness of this approach, it’s worth noting that, as is the case with many things, it seems to work best for those who are already convinced of the statue’s effectiveness.
But while there are believers, there are skeptics too, among them, Eckerd College student Aidan Murphy.
When Murphey’s father got a new job in Michigan and the family relocated, they buried a statue of Joseph at their home. Eight years later, though, the house has plunged in value but still hasn’t sold.
“My mom says, ‘St. Joseph doesn’t like us,’” Murphy recounts, “I personally think it’s because it’s a piece of plastic, and it is the home market system crashing in 2008 that has caused our misfortune.”
It’s also interesting to note that some of the websites that sell these statues also offer a complimentary home listing on their site, free with every purchase.
Other Myths and Legends
But it’s not just St. Joseph statues that are being used to sell homes, there’s a host of other superstitions that people hold to that influence their home buying, and selling decisions.
Take, for example, clients –or real estate agents who refuse to look at homes where someone has died. Or, what about prospective buyers who refuse to buy a home during certain astrological time periods? Then there’s the issue of numbers, with ‘13’ being a house or apartment number that many people will avoid. Some real estate agents will even try to avoid the number 13 popping up in an asking price, taking care to avoid listing prices of say, $113,000 or $213,000. Likewise, hotels and apartments will often skip the 13th floor altogether. Chinese buyers, on the other hand, are often leery of the number ‘4’, since this number is considered to be bad luck. On the other hand, ‘8’ is considered to be very lucky in Chinese culture.
Tips for Helping Your Home Sell Faster
Legends aside, though, there are a few things that every homeowner, or real estate agent, can do to help a home to sell faster. With this in mind, let’s have a look at a few proven ways to make a home more attractive to potential buyers.
- Make Necessary Repairs and Upgrades-The first step towards ensuring that a home will sell faster, and for a more competitive price, is making all necessary repairs and upgrades. This means patching any holes in walls, replacing broken door knobs, and upgrading any worn out carpeting. This isn’t the time to do a complete remodel in the home, but making small yet important repairs and upgrades can have a significant difference when it comes to helping a home to sell more easily.
- Clean, Clean, Clean-Next, you’ll want to ensure that the home is as clean as possible. This means clearing up anything that’s sitting around, and packing away many personal knickknacks –ensuring that countertops and other surfaces are clear and clean. In the same way, ensure that the outside is clean as well. Tidy up the yard, trim back bushes, clean the porch, and cut the grass.
- Give It a Fresh Coat of Paint-Giving the walls a fresh coat of tasteful, neutral paint can help a home to feel lighter, cleaner, and more open. It will also help potential buyers to envision the rooms as their own.
- Consider Staging-Staging a property is a vital, yet often-overlooked step in the sales process. This will help the home to look best in its photos, and also make it more appealing to prospective buyers who view the property in person. To stage your home, you can enlist the services of a professional home stager, or stage the home yourself. Important steps for staging include using smaller furniture to help the rooms feel bigger, removing all personal effects, and strategically placing art and accessories to add glamour and style to a room. You should also ensure that there’s adequate lighting, and make sure the fixtures are clean and up-to-date.
- Pay Attention to the Kitchen-The kitchen is one of the most valuable rooms in a house. It is worth the most per square foot. Oftentimes, the kitchen can help to make or break a home buying decision. If your kitchen is in need of an upgrade, consider refacing your cabinetry, rather than replacing the entire cabinets themselves. Decluttering all of the surfaces, and placing a bowl of fruit or fresh flowers on the table can also help to add a fresh new look to your space.
- Post Plenty of Pictures-According to a study by Trulia, listings with more than six pictures are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers, compared with listings with fewer than six pictures. Including plenty of pictures on your home listing is always a good idea –just make sure your photos look professional. Throw open the curtains to let in plenty of natural light, and make sure there’s no stray clutter or unmade beds in any of the photos.
- Throw in Some Freebies-We all know about closing cost credits, but including some free items is another way to help to sweeten the deal, and differentiate your home from others on the market. Freebies like stainless steel kitchen appliances or a flat-screen TV are things that most potential buyers will appreciate.
- Post Your Listing on Facebook-Facebook can help to facilitate connections, and it’s worth sharing your home on this social network as well. If you have 100-200 friends and your friends each have100-200, think of the potential to get the word out about your home.
- Choose the Best Time to Sell-Before you list your home, think about the time of year that you’re selling. Your best chance of selling quickly is listing your property during a season when buyer demand is high. Spring is traditionally one of the best times to sell, and the market’s usually busy with potential buyers. Many families try to time their new home purchase with the end of the academic year at school, and the better weather will also help your home to look its best. Winter is often regarded as a difficult season to sell, if you’re planning a winter sale, you may want to consider putting your home on the market in the New Year, rather than during the holidays when people’s minds are on other things.
- Price the Home Accurately-Finally, the most important factor when it comes to selling a home in a timely manner, is finding an accurate price point for it. The best way to set a realistic price for your home is by enlisting the services of local real estate agents. In some cases, an agent won’t even charge for a simple evaluation, and it may be worth checking with a few different agents to see which type of pricing they come up with. Remember: the highest valuations won’t necessarily equate with a quick sale. You can also check websites Zillow and Trulia for historical sold price data, to get an idea of what yours can sell for. Your goal is to find a price that will make your home appealing to buyers in the current housing market.
Finally, if you’re having trouble selling your home, and considering using a St. Joseph statue to sell your home, perhaps you’d be better served by seeking out a professional real estate agent. Real estate agents may not be patron saints, but they are experienced with selling homes and could be your secret to selling a lot faster.
For more information on home sales in Springs Colorado, contact Springs Homes today. We will work hard to help your home sell as quickly as possible, for a competitive price. You may also want to have a look at our guide to getting your home ready to sell.
Home Selling Myths: By Xavier De Buck
Preparing Your Home for a Quick Fall Sale: By Paul Sian
10 Really Smart Ideas About Selling A Home By Lynn Pineda