Paul Margolis Logo

Main Content

No Stone Unturned

I don’t think of myself as superstitious. Nevertheless, on the suggestion of a colleague, I recently ordered a small plastic statue of Saint Joseph from Amazon. As soon as it arrived, I drove to one of my biggest listings where, after glancing around to make sure no neighbors or security cameras were watching, I buried the miniature figurine in the front yard – upside down and facing the property, as instructed.

Call me crazy, but I know a lot of top people in my profession who swear by it.

St. Joseph, as you may or may not know, is regarded as the patron saint of workers. Also of home and family. And most recently, real estate agents. The tradition of burying the saint’s likeness for good luck is said to date back to the Middle Ages, possibly connected to the practice of German carpenters planting religious objects in the foundations of houses they built in honor of St. Joseph.

Today, the custom has become so popular that you can buy a Home Sale Kit online (or even in some church gift shops) which includes the statuette, a prayer card and detailed directions.

And yes, I read the prayer. Exactly as the card instructed. Out loud.

Here it is:

O glorious Saint Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in the spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after your example, O Patriarch, Saint Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and in death.

No mention of commission or escrow, but a nice sentiment.

And the result?

The house hasn’t sold yet. But I still have my fingers crossed.