In the Catholic religion, there is a Saint for everything. Arms Dealers pray to Saint Adrian of Nicomedia to keep them safe. Saint Claude looks out for sculptors and secretaries which seems like an odd combination. Saint Cecilia is the patron saint for Musicians. I wonder if Paul Simon knew this when he wrote his song? Saint Basilides looks out for Italian Prison Officials (French Prison Officials are evidently out of luck). As a stained glass artist, I can pray to Saint Lucy to guide me in my creations. Then there is Saint Joseph, the patron Saint of home, family, carpenters and workers in general. Evidently, Saint Joseph is also in the home selling business.
My friend Peggy swears by Saint Joseph. She is not a real estate agent but over the years she has sold homes and moved many times as well as having helped several family members sell their homes. Every time she has done it quickly and with the help of Saint Joseph. This patron saint even sold her mothers house in Buffalo, New York, in February in under two weeks. Now that’s impressive. Last week, my husband Don and I were talking with Peggy about selling her son’s house and Peggy said that she would be burying Saint Joseph in the front yard. Don was a little taken aback. He was raised Catholic and you do not disrespect Saints!
Peggy explained that you bury Saint Joseph upside down in front of the house. Don thought that was a horrible thing to do to a Saint. She explained that he wants out of the ground so you put him upside down so that he can’t escape until he has done his job. You are also supposed to make sure that he is facing your house so that he doesn’t accidentally sell the house across the street. Once the home sells, you dig up Saint Joseph and give him a place of honour in your new home. She suggested that we bury Saint Joseph in our front yard to assist with the sale of our own home. Don was aghast by the whole thing. Bury a Saint??? You just don’t do that!
The whole time that they were having this discussion, I was on Amazon looking at Saint Joseph statues. Finally, I hit the one-click button and announced: “Done! They will be here by Thursday.” Don looked a bit baffled and said: “you bought one?”
“Actually, I bought several. The only 5 star Saint Josephs came in bulk. I don’t want to risk our home sale or the sale of my client’s homes to a 3 star saint. I want only the best so I bought a 5 star saint. Why take a chance?”
Why indeed. Snopes does not confirm or deny that Saint Joseph works. They have stayed neutral on the topic. The Catholic Church swears it works but then again, they are in the business of Saints so I would hope they would give this one a good review. What about you? Do you have a Saint Josephs story to share?
Describing homes for advertising is both fun and challenging. You need to convey the feeling of the home while also giving the facts of what the home is about. When writing the advertising for my own home, I wrote copy after copy and shared it with several friends for their editing and input. One friend said to use the word “bespoke”. I have heard that word before but I didn’t really know the meaning so I looked it up.
Urban Dictionary has the most concise use of the word: “Bespoke tailoring refers to a particularity of British fashion, but the term ‘bespoke’ is now extended to all life’s domains, as a powerful mark of luxury, an anti-brand/ anti-globalization reaction.”
Initially, I used the word to describe our home. It does fit as other definitions use the word to describe something tailor-made to exacting specifications. That is certainly our house. But then we started spotting the word everywhere and it became a running joke.
On Facebook, I shared a link to a house up in NJ that an artist had turned into a nightmare inside. One friend commented that it was so originally bespoke. Ugh. Another friend shared the website for our house and said: “yo! this home is so bespoke!” Then we started applying the term to show dogs and it really got weird.
On the request of my husband, I removed the term from all advertising. I still think the word fits, but now I can’t say it without giggling.
What’s your favorite, overused real estate term?
Several months ago I decided to chronicle our home selling process. I am a real estate broker, but even for me, there are no shortcuts in this process. We have now shifted into another phase so let me update you. We have cleaned, cleaned and cleaned some more. We have painted, repaired and landscaped. We have done everything that we can to prep the house and make it sparkly. Every seller needs to do this step before placing their home on the market. For some it is quick, for others, it’s a long process but one that must be done. Think of it as cleansing the soul of your house to prepare it for its next chapter.
The fun for me began when I could concentrate on marketing. I love this part! I wrote the script, edited it and wrote it again (with the help of friends). The professional photographer was brought out, the photos selected, uploaded and labeled. A video was created and now the website is up and running. Ads were submitted to magazines. Last Thursday, it went live in the Multiple Listing Service. It is now out there for the whole world to see! How exciting!
If you are selling a house in town under $300,000, you will now have people knocking on your door. When you are selling a house out in the county for over $400,000 (like we are), the process isn’t as quick. It’s just the facts and again, there are no shortcuts. This is day 6 and so far we have had one drive-by that we know of. We did not invite them in as showing the house is my co-brokers job. That is what I hired her for and even I need to stick to our game plan. We have had agents call, asking questions for their clients. We have had some web inquiries. Overall, I’m pretty excited for the first not quite week on the market.
The hard part is what comes next. We don’t really want to rent as having 3 dogs makes that difficult. We might buy a cheap little house that needs work and live in that while we build a home. That means finding the right cheap little house and the right building lot. If the location and house are just right, we aren’t against buying an existing house and turning it into the perfect home. We have started looking but without a time frame, it’s hard to look seriously since what’s on the market now may not be available when we are ready to start that step of the process. We are flexible and Don and I work well under pressure. We have a plan A, plan B, C, D, and E for what comes next. We have options and really, this is a good position for a seller to be in as it prevents rash decisions.