Higher power home sales

May 2, 2008 9:03:22 PM PDT
With the sagging housing market one can expect many homeowners trying to unload real estate are now turning to other methods to get their properties sold.It's a tradition that some argue dates back centuries. Some faithful claim that burying a Saint Joseph statue in your yard, while trying to sell your house, will bring a quicker sale of their property.

Is this just a hoax or a divine intervention?

"O.K. Saint Joe we got another one for the road," said Pat Ciervo with Main Street Realty.

Pat Ciervo has been selling real estate for decades. But, it's only been in the last few years that he has turned to his faith to help sell houses.

"When all else fails we look for a divine intervention," he added.

Ciervo has been seeking the guidance of Saint Joseph.

The husband of Mary, foster father to Jesus and the patron saint of carpentry.

But, Saint Joseph, a real estate agent?

"We have written testimony that has been proven that it helps sell real estate," he said.

Ciervo has already buried a few dozen statues in the front yards of clients seeking a higher power to get their home sold.

And, he said, it's worked every time.

"It makes you wonder it does make you think," added Ciervo.

"We've put a lot of work and time into this house," said homeowner Bob Garber.

Bob Garber has had his house on the market since last October. He's praying for a little divine intervention to get it sold.

"I've heard from a lot of people that you should put a Saint Joseph statue in your house," said Garber.

Tony Onorato said he planted a St. Joe's statue but also admits there's one other factor that may have contributed to the quick sale.

"I got a new realtor too so I'm not sure if it's the new realtor or St. Joe's but I think the combination worked," said Onorato.

Daniel Castonguay with Abbott Church Supply says the devotion to Saint Joseph varies with the real estate market.

As home sales plummet, sales of Saint Joseph statues skyrocket.

Last year at this time, he was selling about 40-50 statues a month. Today --

"Around eight hundred!" said Castonguay.

"Some of them are kind of desperate and are at the point where they'll try anything," he added.

But how did the devotion to Saint Joseph, real estate agent, start?

One theory goes that Saint Theresa used to use the Saint Joseph statue to acquire land for properties she wanted to build for certain monasteries.

But, no one is quite sure if that's the true story.

Cardinal Justin Rigali believes Saint Joseph can help, as long as the faithful are praying and honoring his legacy.

"To put his statue in the ground thinking that it has a power in itself, it doesn't. It's just a statue," said Cardinal Rigali.

As for Ciervo, he's keeping the faith that burying the statue helps Bob Garber sell his home.

" "He really works," said Ciervo.