Saint to help you sell your house

Contrary to a refrain from ‘Les Miserables,’ nobody loves the landlord, but even non-Catholics have a soft spot for Joseph-the-realtor.

There is one thing I won’t ask St. Joseph to do. Well, two things; the second momentarily.

But the first thing, I won’t ask him to bless my carpentry. He knows it wouldn’t do any good. If he’s ever looked over my shoulder, he has it figured out.

I was the kid who cut his finger on the bandsaw in Mr. Schnable’s eighth-grade arts and crafts class. Mr. Schnable – I can’t speak for St. Joseph — was decidedly disappointed.

Things never got better. I yet carry a six-stitch scar from teaching tool safety to my #2 son. There were mitigating factors. It was a right-handed tool and I am left-handed. All the power tools ever made were made for right-handed people. Klutz, after all, is only one letter longer than Left.

The second thing I will not ask St. Joseph to do is sell my house. I didn’t even know that this was a thing until I asked a better Catholic than me which saint might be the patron of landlords, me being one at the time. St. Joseph the carpenter, possibly, I was told.

Looking it up to be sure, no, and as far as I can find landlords do not have a patron saint. I would like to hear otherwise, if anyone knows, but I mean, even coin collectors get a patron saint (St. Eligius, a 7th-century goldsmith who became a revered priest and bishop), but for landlords, there’s no one. Contrary to a refrain from Les Miserables, nobody loves the landlord.

I became a landlord by accident. We had lived in our house 12 years. I had never lived in a house longer, except where I grew up. When it came time sell, the housing collapse was still raging. In our immediate neighborhood, homes in bankruptcy had thoroughly depressed the market and we wouldn’t even recover enough to pay the remaining mortgage. So it became a rental, four years. Now, market recovered, it is time to sell.

This is where St. Joseph is said to help. What you do is, get a St. Joseph statue, bury it on the property, say a series of prayers over nine days, and sit back as the potential buyers overrun the place. When the house is sold, retrieve St. Joseph and give him a place of honor in your new home. So far, things sound harmlessly quaint.

Then it gets complicated. Where you bury the statue and how is important, but unclear. Front yard or back yard or under the For Sale sign? Do you bury the statue standing upright or bury the statue upside down (the theory being an upside down St. Joseph will “work” harder at getting out of the ground and into the new home), or flat, pointed to the street so he will entice passersby?

To facilitate this odd use of Saint Joseph, there are kits sold by Catholic supply houses but I also found one at an Episcopal Bookstore, which struck me as strange.

In fact, the whole thing seems unutterably superstitious, like magical thinking, a ritual to bend the universe (and buyers) to one’s desires, no different, really, than a metaphysical spell for realty shamans.

There are, to be sure, plenty of testimonials from people – even realtors – who buried a statue. It “works,” they assert. You would expect to hear those, if the house sells with a St. Joseph statue buried somewhere on the grounds.

Except we never hear from the other sort, a home listing 145 days out, still without prospects, even with St. Joseph buried – whichever way that is — in the proper fashion.

But there are other metaphysical tap roots. There’s a Wiccan spell and other “spiritual” helps, including Native American smudging and a Laughing Buddha secreted in the house somewhere, just for home sellers. Those approaches, too, have testimonials from very satisfied practitioners.

Should St. Joseph be reduced to a magic-like talisman? “Credulity,” a friend quotes, “is no Christian virtue.”

What’s a Christian to do, then? What anybody ought to do. Clean the house up; repair, replace, paint, and make it as attractive as possible, and fix things the way you would want them fixed were you the one buying it. Do a complete disclosure, no fudging, and maybe point out any quirks (every house has them) just to avoid surprises (like don’t run microwave and dishwasher together; you’ll trip a breaker). Leave a note for the new owners with a prayer that the house they bought from you may become for them a true home.

Last, maybe first, give thanks to God in prayer for the home it was, for the family you raised, and the neighbors you knew. Then, next time at mass, listen carefully for Pope Francis’s addition to Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV. You’ll hear St. Joseph’s name, patron of happy homes who, said Francis, “demonstrates the ordinary and simple virtues necessary for men to be good and genuine followers of Christ.”

aleteia.org

The Saints have never ruled, even when Archie Manning was their quarterback. But St. Joseph has dominated as the Divine Real Estate Mover for several hundred years.

The United States Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C., traces the tradition of burying St. Joseph back hundreds of years to St. Theresa of Avila (1515-1582), who prayed to St. Joseph (the patron saint of the family and household needs) for more land for Christian converts and encouraged her Discalced Carmelite nuns to bury St. Joseph medals in the ground as a symbol of their devotion.

Today, folks bury statues of St. Joseph instead of medals (some say the reason he is depicted as bald in so many statues is that he’s been buried upside-down too many times). He can be buried in the front yard, upside down, facing away from the house or in the back yard, right side up, facing the house. Some cultures say once the house is sold, you must dig him up and take him with you. Others insist you leave him in the ground at your old house and buy a new one. Everyone agrees you need to give him a place of honor at your new home.

Though St. Joseph Home Sale Kits can be purchased (in prices ranging from $9.95 to almost $30.00), the most important factor is said to be faith. If you don’t truly believe in divine intervention, they say, don’t expect positive results.

If you want to do-it-yourself, here’s how:

1. Get a statue of St. Joseph. The size of the statue has nothing to do with how much money you’re going to get for your house, thank goodness.

2. Bury him on your property (see instructions, above).

3. Ask him to help you sell your home. The following is from an Internet kit, and is definitely not the kind of prayer I would suggest be used: “Oh, St. Joseph, guardian of household needs, we know you don’t like to be upside down in the ground, but the sooner escrow closes, the sooner we will dig you up and put you in a place of honor in our new home. Please bring us an acceptable offer (or any offer!) and help sustain our faith in the real estate market.”

4. Thank him after your home sells.

5. Share your experience of how he helped you with others.

Does doing all this guarantee that St. Joseph will sell your house? Of course not.   It’s a silly superstition.  But 2 million St. Joseph statues are sold nationally each year with enough testimonials from satistified home sellers to make believers out of many. I’ll confess that as I write this, I’m staring out my window at the lovely new statue of St. Joseph and his family we placed in our back yard. When I buried him at our old home (which I sold myself), we had our buyer within a week.

Send questions to Cecil via [email protected]

STAFF REPORTS ARE WRITTEN BY THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD, CECIL’S ONLINE AUXILIARY. THOUGH THE SDSAB DOES ITS BEST, THESE COLUMNS ARE EDITED BY ED ZOTTI, NOT CECIL, SO ACCURACYWISE YOU’D BETTER KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED.

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A few months ago someone asked for prayers for selling their home.  After praying for the person another lady who was standing close by and heard the request said that she was a realtor and advised the individual to bury the statue of Saint Joseph in the front yard and that would cause the house to be sold quite fast.

Have you heard of this before?

Apparently, there are realtors who keep a stock of St. Joseph statues solely for the purpose of selling the house of their clients!  They dig a hole in the yard of the house and bury the statue as some kind of good luck charm to sell the house.

Let me first say that this is not biblical.  There is no scripture in the bible that supports burying anything to get God to do anything for you.  If you have this scripture, please feel free to leave it in the comments below. This sounds more like witchcraft than it does something that is coming from the Almighty God! To be clear, the St. Joseph in reference is the husband of Mary.  Here is what Wikipedia has to say about this click here

When you are trying to sell your house you must first ask yourself a few questions.

1.  Why is my home for sale?  Did God direct me to do this?

2.  Is my home reasonably priced or am I being greedy?

3.  Is my house properly staged and does it look presentable so that someone would want to buy it?

4.  Do I have a good realtor?  The truth is sometimes it’s just best to stay away from family members or someone who just got their license and wants to practice on you!

You see, if God wants you to sell that house and move then you will sell the house really fast.  You’re not going to need to worry about the economy because God is bigger than that!  He can sell your house when no one else’s house is selling. So there is absolutely no need for you to have any fear that it will not sell.

(2 Timothy 1:7)For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

You also can’t be too greedy expecting the buyer of your home to pay more than what is a reasonable asking price.  You need to do your home work and know what the comps are in your area.  What is the home worth?

(Leviticus 25:14) “‘If you sell land to any of your own people or buy land from them, do not take advantage of each other.”

Yes!  We all want the wonderful testimony of how God blessed us in the sale of our home and we made so much money doing it BUT this should never be at the expense of taking advantage of someone else.  God is watching and this will not be pleasing to Him.  The money you made from being dishonest in that deal will be taken from you in so many other ways.  It’s just not worth it.  Be honest.

You want to make sure that your house is staged properly for a sale.  Bottom line, clean your house!  This is a simple thing but the truth is that most people neglect to consider that just by clearing away clutter and organizing their home, the sale can be quite quick.  If you have animals try to make sure your house doesn’t smell like the animal.  If you’re so accustomed to this, then ask a friend to tell  you honestly how your house looks and smells.  Invest in some plugins or something to clean the air and make your home pleasant.  It’s these little things that can make a big difference especially if you don’t have the money to paint or do other major repairs.

Do some research online about staging your home for sale and make sure to do all that you can to be ready for your buyer.

Find a realtor that has experience selling your type of house. The price range, the area and has a track record for selling homes.  It seems that everybody these days has a real estate license.  This doesn’t mean that you should make yourself the guinea pig!  Just because your family member has a real estate license doesn’t mean they should be selling your home.  If they are good at what they do, that’s fine.  Or if God told you to give them the listing.  You need to pray about this as well. Use wisdom.

Please keep this very important point in mind, you are only selling your house to one person. All you need is just one person.  You don’t have to worry about ratios of how many people need to look at your house before it is sold.  You just need one.  God can provide that one person for you with the first person that walks through the door.

So here are the prayers that you will need to get your house sold.

Praying to find a realtor

Heavenly Father, in obedience to you I am ready to sell my house.  Thank you for leading me to this point.  Guide me to finding the right realtor for this decision.  Direct my steps to the real estate agent that you wish to bless with my listing.  I pray that you will continue to build them up in wisdom, understanding and knowledge to list my house, give me good directions and finding the right buyer, in your name Jesus I pray, Amen!

Now it’s time to pray for your buyer

Prayer for the buyer of my house

Lord God, I pray for the buyer that you have for my house. Wherever they are right now Lord please begin to remove every obstacle that would prevent them from seeing my home.  Guide them here.  Give them the desire to want to live in my area.  Provide the financing they need to qualify to purchase this home at my asking price.  Get them pre approved and ready to close very quickly.  Bless them financially and prepare their hearts to care for this home as much as I cared for it.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

And, here is the final prayer which is one for you to sell your home

Prayer to Sell my home

Father God, thank you for blessing me with this home.  Thank you for the enjoyment that I received from it for the years that I have lived here.  Show me what I need to do to prepare it for sale.  I pray that my house will sell very fast.  I will not have any fear in my heart because I know that you have the right buyer lined up to purchase it.  I pray that you will grant me grace to be honest and not greedy in what I am asking.  I know that I only need one buyer and I ask that you will send them quickly.  I promise to tithe on the increase that you will bring from this sale and to honor you in this business dealings.  I also pray for the new place where you will be taking me.  That you will have it prepared for me that i will find much joy and peace in that new home, in Jesus Name, Amen.

We know that God will do an amazing thing in selling your home fast.  Remember, you don’t need any st. Joseph statues to sell your house you just need to pray, believe God and know that He will grant you the desires of your heart.

Here are some more prayers and bible verses for you:

Prayer of Faith

Prayer for Wisdom

Proverbs 23: 17-19 The Prayer of Expectation

Joshua 1:8 – Prayer For Success and Prosperity

www.missionariesofprayer.org

Part 1 Bury the Statue

  1. saint to help you sell your house Buy a statue of Saint Joseph.

    Choose a small, simple statue so that the burial will be easier to perform. You can by saint statues at Catholic supply stores and online.

    • The ideal height is between 3 and 4 inches (7.6 and 10 cm).
    • Nowadays, you can even buy a St. Joseph “home selling kit” from retailers and some real estate offices. These kits usually come with a small statue of St. Joseph, a prayer card, and instructions on the practice.
  2. saint to help you sell your house Wrap the statue in protective cloth.

    Take a soft, clean washcloth or similar material and wrap it around the statue several time, covering all sides, including the top and bottom. Consider placing the wrapped statue in a resealable plastic bag, as well.

    • You could also wrap the statue in plastic wrap or place it directly in the plastic bag without first wrapping it in a cloth. The idea is simply to protect it from as much dirt and damage as possible.
    • Wrapping the statue is a matter of practicality, but more importantly, it is also a sign of respect. Even though you are burying his statue, St. Joseph is still a saint, so you should demonstrate a certain degree of respect for his likeness.
  3. saint to help you sell your house Bury the statue.

    Dig a hole in your yard that is deep enough to fit the entire statue. Place the wrapped statue inside, then fill the rest of the hole in with dirt. Note that any specifics concerning the exact placement of the statue vary depending on who you ask, so there is no one definitive choice.

    • The most common tradition holds that you should bury the statue near the “For Sale” sign or near the road. Place the statue inside the hole upside-down and facing your house.
    • Others insist that the statue should face the road to symbolize the act of leaving the home.
    • Some traditions also suggest placing the statue right side up or lying on its back, pointing toward the house like an arrow.
    • You could also consider placing the statue 3 feet (1 m) away from the rear of the house or in your rear yard flower bed.
  4. saint to help you sell your house Consider burying the statue in a flower pot.

    If you live in an apartment or a condominium, you may not have a yard that you can bury the statue in. Under these circumstances, you should bury the statue in a large flower pot. Place the flower pot on a deck, patio, or windowsill.

    • The flower pot can have something growing in it, but this is not a strict necessity.
    • Note that the rest of the tradition stays the same. You should still wrap the statue in protective cloth and treat it with the same degree of reverence.
  5. saint to help you sell your house Consider keeping the statue in your home.

    If the thought of burying a statue of St. Joseph seems disrespectful to you, consider placing the statue in your home, instead. Set the statue down in a window or on a counter in clear sight of the “For Sale” sign in your yard.

    • When doing this, you do not need to wrap the statue in protective cloth.
    • Burying the statue is a matter of tradition, not doctrine. There is no Catholic doctrine stating that burying a statue of St. Joseph will help you sell your house. Church teachings do suggest that calling for St. Joseph’s intercession when selling your home can help, though, which is why keeping a statue of St. Joseph in your home during the sale would likely work just as well as burying the statue.

Part 2 Say a Prayer

  1. saint to help you sell your house Pray upon burial.

    As soon as you bury the statue, you should say a prayer to St. Joseph, asking for his intercession. The exact prayer can vary, and you can go with a pre-written prayer or a prayer from your own heart.

    • Some prayers “threaten” St. Joseph, essentially stating that he should sell your home for you if he wants to get out of the ground. These prayers somewhat undermine the value of asking for intercession, however, so they are generally not preferred.
    • Consider using a simple, humble prayer, like the following:
      • “O Blessed St. Joseph, tenderhearted father, faithful guardian of Jesus, chaste spouse of the Mother of God, I pray you to join with me in praising God the Father through his divine Son who died on the cross and rose again to give us sinners new life. Through the holy name of Jesus, pray that we may obtain from the eternal Father the favor we ask for: our home sale. We have been unfaithful to the unfailing love of God the Father; beg of Jesus mercy for us his brothers and sisters. Amid the splendors of God’s loving presence, do not forget the sorrows of whose who weep. By your prayers and those of your most holy spouse, our blessed Lady, may the love of Jesus answer our call of confident hope. Amen.”
  2. saint to help you sell your house

    Say a prayer each day until the house sells. While saying a single prayer at the time of burial is good, repeating a prayer for intercession each day from that point on demonstrates a greater degree of faith and earnestness. You can say the same prayer each day or offer a different one.

  3. saint to help you sell your house Try a nine-day novena.

    Instead of saying a standard prayer each day, you could try saying a novena. A novena is a set of prayers recited over the course of nine days. There are different variations, but essentially, you say a different prayer each day and follow each prayer with an “Our Father.” Consider using the following novena:

    • Day One: O God, guide of those who listen and helper of those who hear your voice, speak to me, as you did to St. Joseph, and help me accomplish the things you give me to do.
    • Day Two: O God, you love your people and bless the ordinary lives we quietly live. As you blessed St. Joseph, bless what I do, however hidden and simple it may be, and let all I do be done with love.
    • Day Three: O God, ever faithful, you remember us always and in time reveal your blessings. Help me trust in you, as St. Joseph faithfully trusted, and never let me lose faith in the wonderful gifts you promise me.
    • Day Four: God of families, bless the family that’s mine. Keep us safe from harm, and never let evil come between us. Let peace remain in our hearts.
    • Day Five: O God, who loves children, be kind to our children today. Give them eyes of faith for seeing far, a loving heart for welcoming life, and a place always at your side.
    • Day Six: God of our heavenly home, bless our home on earth. Let the spirit of Mary and Joseph rest at our table, shape our words and actions, and bring blessing to our children.
    • Day Seven: God, our Father, give your fatherly spirit to those who are fathers now. Like Joseph, give them hearts of devoted love for their wives and children and strength for forgiveness and patience.
    • Day Eight: Give shelter, O God, to those who need it, and bring together families divided. Give us enough to eat, and decent work to earn our bread. Care for us, O God.
    • Day 9: Bless all families, O Lord, especially those in need. Remembering the life of your Son, we pray for the poor, for those who lack a good home, for those in exile. Grant them a protector like Joseph, O God.

Part 3 Free the Statue

  1. saint to help you sell your house Dig up the statue when your house sells.

    As soon as the contract is signed and the final details are in order, remove the statue from its place in your yard. Unwrap the protective cloth and wash away any dirt that managed to get on the statue itself.

    • According to legend, if you leave the statue in the yard, the new owners of the house will not be able to stay there for a long time. New owners will come and go until the statue is finally removed.
    • While there may not be any proof to back this legend, removing the statue should at least be done as a sign of respect.
  2. saint to help you sell your house Give thanks.

    Offer a prayer of thanks—first to God, and then to St. Joseph for his intercession. You can offer a prayer from your heart and in your own words, or you could say a generic pre-written prayer of thanks. Either way, the important thing is to pray with sincerity.

    • An example prayer of thanks would be:
      • “Heavenly Father, I thank you for my life and everything you have bestowed upon me and upon all people, this day and every day. I thank you for the good and bad, the understanding of forgiveness, and your holy power, without which we would have nothing. I thank you this day for all your blessings, your gifts, your never ending love for us. Although we all are sinners, I ask you to forgive me every day for what I might have done wrong, that I might not have noticed. Even though we all come short of the glory of God, I thank you for the sacrifice of your only son Jesus Christ for all our sins. You and only you know us Father and you know if our hearts are true. So once again, I thank you with all my heart and soul. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.”
  3. saint to help you sell your house Display the statue in a place of honor in your new home.

    Since intercession to St. Joseph helped you sell your home, it is customary to display the statue you buried in your new home. Doing so demonstrates gratitude and reverence.

    • The display does not need to be anything fancy. Simply sitting the statue on your mantel or desk will suffice.

Community Q&A

Add New Question

  • Does the statue need to be blessed when I’m burying it?

    wikiHow Contributor

    I have not read anything that says the statue needs to be blessed. All instructions do recommend to say a prayer to St. Joseph at the time of burying the statue.

  • Does the seller have to be the one to bury St. Joseph?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Yes, traditionally, the seller should be the one to bury the statue.

  • Can you take it with you if you move?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Absolutely, you should! Be sure to place him is a position of honor somewhere in the new home.

  • I recently sold my house. I want to send a thank you donation. Where do I send it?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Choose a Catholic organization or church in your area.

  • Do I have to be Catholic for this to work?

    wikiHow Contributor

    It’s not necessary to be Catholic. You may be a Christian who believes in the holy family (Jesus, Mary and Joseph), and the Trinity of the Faithful.

  • I am a Jew. Will this work for me?

    wikiHow Contributor

    Yes, this will work for anyone who believes in the power of prayer.

  • Why hasn’t St. Joseph answered my prayers yet?

    wikiHow Contributor

    God isn’t a vending machine. Pray and leave the results up to Him. He hears you and will give you what you really need.

  • Can I bury it at the house I want to buy?

    wikiHow Contributor

    No. Digging a hole in a stranger’s yard to bury it is highly frowned upon.

  • We found a St. Joseph statute left by a prior owner. Should we sell our home?

    wikiHow Contributor

    No. Just clean him off and place him in a position of honor in the home. Pray and express your gratitude to God for blessing your home and family.

  • Should St Joseph be buried by the For Sale sign or close to the front door?

    wikiHow Contributor

    The answer to this depends on who you ask. It makes sense to have it near the sale sign unless it’s not near your house.

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Unanswered Questions

  • Is it okay to bury more than one statue since recommendations of location vary?

  • I understood he should be upside down facing away from your home

  • If the house doesn’t sell and is delisted, should I dig up the statue and rebury it?

  • Can I sell a house for someone else?

  • What prayers are needed to honor or bury St. Joseph?

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Tips

  • Believe. Burying a statue of St. Joseph should be done as an act of faith, rather than as an act of superstition or good luck. Act in sincerity, pray in earnest, and believe that the help you are asking for will come your way.

Things You’ll Need

  • Statue or St. Joseph OR St. Joseph home selling kit

  • Protective cloth

  • Resealable plastic bag

Article Info

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