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What to know about real estate superstitions this Friday the 13th

Agents have their own superstitions, such as not closing on Friday the 13th. Why tempt fate when you can avoid bad luck?
What to know about real estate superstitions this Friday the 13th
Posted at 1:18 PM, Oct 10, 2023

When it comes to superstitions, the ultimate bad luck day may be Friday the 13th, which is coming up in October. It happens up to three times a year, and some people are more careful on that day, just in case.

In matters of real estate, agents have their own superstitions. Why tempt fate when you can do some things to bring good luck, and avoid bad luck? 

Some real estate agents follow a particular superstition year-round. Among the most noted real estate folklore traditions is the burying of a statue of St. Joseph upside-down in the front yard. St. Joseph is the patron saint of the home in Catholicism, and real estate agents have carried that over to home sales. 

Burying the statue is believed to expedite property sales, said Kelly Moye, an agent with Compass Real Estate in Boulder, Colorado.

“Some sellers embrace this blend of spirituality and superstition to encourage a successful transaction,” Moye said. 

Always bury the statue upside down, Moye added. The theory is that Joseph will work harder to leave the ground when buried upside down so he can find a comfortable home in which to dwell. 

There’s also luck to be found in a doorway, said Tonya Currie, agent at Lifestyle Ranch & Home Group of Compass in Brenham, Texas.

In many cultures, it is considered good luck to hang a horseshoe, she said. Since ancient times the horseshoe has been considered sacred, originally because iron was believed to possess magical properties.

“Even today, some people still believe that hanging a horseshoe over a doorway can create a protective barrier to ward off negative energies," Currie said. 

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Selling a home can be an emotional decision. To bring good vibes, Angela Woodard of Compass Seattle advises her clients to write a letter to the house. 

"If a client isn't emotionally ready to sell their home, no matter how well it's marketed, priced or prepared, it will struggle to sell," Woodard said. “To address this, when a seller is having trouble moving on, I'll sometimes have them write a letter to the house expressing gratitude for the beautiful memories they had there, and wishing the next owners — whoever they are — well.” 

Sometimes, the home sellers will leave the letter in the house. Or they pass it on to the new owners as a way of honoring the past and passing the torch, Woodard said.

Other superstitions to ensure a smooth real estate transaction include not putting a sale pending sign in the yard, because it may jinx the sale, Moye said.

And when it comes to Friday the 13th, some real estate agents try to avoid scheduling a house closing on that day. It may be a superstition, but better safe than sorry. 


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