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“If you really want to sell your house, don’t forget to bury St. Joseph” My mother, my Jewish mother said, “it’s the best way to sell quickly?”

Several years ago my husband and I decided to sell our empty-nest six bedroom house in Rockville Maryland and move  into  The District  (Washington DC).  I called  my mother (who lived in Chicago) to tell her our plans and that’s when she started talking about St. Joseph.

Well, what would you think if your Jewish mother told you such a thing?  You’d think, as I did, that the poor woman was finally losing it!. She was past ninety after all.  I hung up and called her doctor

“Mom is really failing”, I said.  “She’s saying irrational things” and I went on to tell him about the St. Joseph statement.

He laughed.

“You mean you don’t know about St. Joseph?” he asked.  “What’s the matter with you people on the east coast?  In Chicago every realtor carries St. Joseph  statues in their car to give to prospective clients.”

I called a friend/realtor  to check and it was true.  She explained the procedure.

“You bury St. Joseph upside down in your front yard facing your house”

The method is very important.  Evidently if you face him the wrong way he might sell your neighbors house!

“After your house sells” my friend/realtor continued “and it will sell quickly, you must dig the statue up and give him a place of honor in your new home”.

This explains why my mother, my Jewish mother, had a St. Joseph statue on her mantel right next to the Sabbath candles and the menorah!   He helped her sell my late aunts condo; it actually sold in one day!

I decided to try it so I went to a Catholic book.  I was a little worried, a little embarrassed. What if they laughed at me or worse, thought I was insulting them?   I sort of mumbled that I was looking for a St. Joseph. statue   The sales person grinned.
”Are you trying to sell your house?” She pointed to a bin full of little St Josephs.”.
“There’s what you’re looking for, it’s guaranteed to work.”

I took St. Joseph home, buried him in the front yard (upside down facing the house) and, truly, within a week, we had two offers, good offers.  We moved a month later, carefully digging up St. Joseph and taking him with us to our new little row house in Georgetown.

Sixteen years later we decided to move to Florida so we put St. Joseph back to work; we buried him inthe front yard, upside down, facing the house.  He took a little longer this time but within a month we put up a sold sign.

On moving day, my housekeeper Ralph and I went into the front yard to dig up St. Joseph and….disaster!  We couldn’t find him.  We practically dug up the whole yard; even my husband came out to help. St. Joseph was nowhere to be found.

Ralph was wringing his hands and I was pretty upset too.  What should we do?   Part of the deal was that St. Joseph has to come along to the new house.  Finally, I wrote a note starting “Dear St. Joseph”.  I  explained that we had tried and tried but couldn’t find him

“Thank you for helping us sell the house and here is our new address in Florida (I carefully printed the address) and an open invitation to visit anytime.”

. We buried the note (upside down facing the house) and carefully covered it over.  What else could we do?

Fast forward nine years.  I owned a  condo on the beach and dediced it would be more practical to sell it and rent an apartment. I needed a St. Joseph and the  local Catholic Church  actually had  kits in the gift shop complete with instructions.  I was a little worried about where to bury him; if I put him in the common front yard he might sell the whole building so I compromised by burying him in a planter on my balcony with a note explaining the situation. It worked!  The condo sold in a week even in a very slow real estate market. I’m renting an apartment now and St. Joseph is resting in a place of honor  on the bookcase just waiting to be needed again.  I recently shared the story of St. Joseph with some neighbors, one of whom is trying to sell her house, the other is a real estate agent.  They had never heard of this method but, the day after I told them about it, guess what they went out to buy?

Act Two For Three, my new book about three friends and their life changes, was released last week on kindle and I had this marketing plan.   Amazon would offer it free on kindle for five days and  I would email friends and relatives all over the country (Texas, California, Georgia, Washington DC)  about  the free offer.  They would download it , read it  and tell their friends and relatives about it and, even when the free offer was over, all of these people would order it, read it and tell their friends and relatives etc.  In other words, a snowball effect m a real grass-roots kind of happening.  The book is inexpensive,  the kindle addition  is under $3.00(. the soft cover under $5.00.

It seemed like a great plan but so far…it isn’t working, at least  it isn’t working  yet.  People did download it and read it and I’ve gotten lots of  emails saying how much they liked it but….nothing else has happened.  Sales are embarrassingly low  but I’m not discouraged or unhappy.  I’m not disappointed.   After all, the important thing is  “I Wrote a Book”  (see previous blog) and it’s up right there on Amazon for  the world to see and ( I wish), to read.   All  I need is a new marketing plan.  I’m open to any and all  ideas and suggestions   Anyone???  HELP!!!

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barbara@mysteryonthemenu.com