crazy things real estate agents do
Please Don't Bury Me for Profit
A 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.

Smudging

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.

Mood Music

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.

Setting Up a Coffee Cart

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?

Give Away a Car

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