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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Who Do Voodoo?

Real estate is full of nefarious practices.  In these trying times stories of the professional and unprofessional abound. The levels to which buyers/sellers (and their agents) will go can be funny, frightening and occasionally... unethical and even illegal.

I want to focus on some of the things that make you go hmmmm.

There are agents in this market that bury a St. Joseph statue in the yard of their sellers.  Face down, in the front yard, to elicit a faster sale. Typically this is done AFTER the home has been on the market some 400 + days, so I don't think it can be deemed very reliable. Keep in mind we are in the Land of Baptists so whether it is a lack of faith or last resort (maybe the Catholics have a different pipeline so to speak) who can say?   I would categorize it under the old school way of doing real estate called Practice the THREE P's.  Put a sign in the yard. Put it in MLS, and PRAY!
Who needs a market analysis?

Seriously, there is a website devoted to this whole practice   It just doesn't sound right to me, they don't even call him a SAINT.   There is an agent in our office who buys them by the case.  She gave one as an award to another agent during our Mandatory Tuesday Sales Meeting a couple of months ago because the other agent had a listing with the dubious honor of the longest days on the market.  Ms. So and So Realtor doesn't grant every listing a St. Joseph statue, just the reeealy long overdue to sell listings.  You have to wonder why she wouldn't bury them right off the bat?  If she invests in that many of them, why would she wait?  Could it be she subliminally doesn't WANT them to sell quickly?  Does she like having ALL THOSE LISTINGS?  Is she a collector or (gasp) a borderline hoarder?  I have to wonder what her sellers think when she shows up with the St. Joseph statue.  Do they imagine she has just thrown her hands up in the air?

Maybe, just maybe before pulling out the shovel one might take a look at the condition of the home and the list price?  Just a thought.

I started something totally innocent, but with intent, to be sure.  A GRATITUDE book.  It is actually a combination of gratitude and vision.  The intent was to help me to focus on the positive things in my life that are already in abundance, to express gratitude for them, but also to develop clear vision of  my goals - to draw the positive, joyful experiences I desire into my life.  Guess what?  I think it's working!

I just listed a home that is owned by someone who graduated from the same high school I did.  Three years behind me.  Now, keep in mind I lived in MAINE then, not South Carolina.  A town smaller than this one.  I had never even heard of this couple-didn't have the house they bought listed, and didn't represent them as buyers.   They just asked a colleague for the name of someone NOT local to sell their home, they were given mine.  They know all the same people I know back home.  Then a few days later I got a call from another man who found me on the Internet...wants to list some land in the area.  He doesn't live here.  He DID however live in Maine for 20 years.  And he is ITALIAN.  Almost no one is Italian here.  I can name one other person I have met in 22 years in Orangeburg that is Italian.  But he found ME.  And called ME.  We again traded stories about the lovely food we miss 'back there'.  REAL Italian food.  He was even wearing a ring almost exactly like one I wear every day (I think his is real gold - mine is silver).  All within one week.  Within days of my Tour of Italy and Real Estate gratitude pages.

I am sure there are people who would scoff at my 'Gratitude Book' as surely as people scoff at prayer ( I also practice this-goes hand in hand with gratitude).  Of course, I continue to aggressively market my
properties, monitor the sales in MLS, keep my market analysis up to date, investigate new trends and opportunities-all that good stuff.   But if something is's working.  We do what we do for that little extra 'edge'.  However, sometimes it may appear the agent has stepped over the edge of the cliff!

 What can I say?