Please Don't Bury Me for ProfitA sure sign the housing market is not getting better: A real estate agent showed up on my porch last week dressed in a kitty cat costume and handed me a small jack-o'-lantern filled with candy. "Just wanted to let you know what homes are selling for in this area!"
Really. This just happened.
But it's not my first unsolicited visit by a real estate agent since we moved to Los Angeles, where the housing bust is staying busted. I've had five different agents drop by unannounced just to let me know it's a great time to buy. Or sell, since I rent in a neighborhood that is still popular and houses go for around a cool million. I wish I could sell, but the Catholic Church across the street probably wouldn't like me stealing their home out from underneath them and turning a profit.
Apparently it's not just agents in my neighborhood that are desperate and kooky. Here are five other weird things people are doing to sell their homes.
Lighting a bundle of herbs on fire and spreading the smoke around the house for sale won't just set off the fire alarms, it will get rid of bad ju-ju. Because bad ju-ju, not the recession, is why you can't unload your 3-bedroom, 2-bath house for $789,000.
I actually went to an open house where the lights were low and Death Cab for Cutie's latest record (which I loved) was playing on the stereo. It was clearly working as I fell in love with a house that had one less bedroom than my family actually needed. Luckily, my husband pulled my head out of the clouds.
Apparently this worked for an agent in Florida who served lattes to prospective buyers. The house sold in nine days. In Florida!
Burying a Saint
If you've got a statue of St. Joseph lying around (and who doesn't?), bury it in your yard for a faster sell. Apparently several real estate agents practice this superstition, based on the fact that it pops up all over Google when you talk about wacky real estate practices. I wonder if they dig him up after the deal is done, or there are thousands of St. Josephs in America's yards?
A seller in Essex, England gave away a Lamborghini (worth 150,000 pounds) with his house. Personally, I've only seen offers of flat-screen TVs.
Image via Paul J Everett/Flickr