St. Joseph ~ Your Underground Real Estate Agent

Sellers today feel more in need of a miracle than ever when trying to sell their homes.   A plastic St. Joseph statue is the “miracle magnet” of choice for many. 

The custom of burying a St. Joseph statue when trying to sell a home dates back to at least 1984 in the U.S. but it gained more popularity in 1990’s when Realtors started buying mass quantities of the plastic saint, giving instructions to sellers to bury the little guy (can I call a Saint a “little guy”…hmmm maybe not) upside down in the front yard facing away from the home.  I guess burying St. Joseph upside down makes him all the more desperate to get out of the dirt and back into the home?  I’m not sure.

Why St. Joseph?  Why not St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Desperate Causes? Or, St. Isadore of Seville, the Patron  Saint of the Internet (did you know there was a Patron Saint of the Internet?)

Joseph was the carpenter father of Jesus Christ and is therefore linked to hearth and home.  The practice of calling on St. Joseph’s real estate help has many reputed origins.  Some say it started when some European nuns buried a St. Joseph medal in their quest for a convent. Others cite German carpenters who used to bury St. Joseph medals in the foundation of homes they were building as they prayed to St. Joseph.  One of the most renowned stories dates back to the 1800s when Brother Andre Bessett of Montreal wanted to buy some land to construct a small chapel.  Brother Andre buried St. Joseph medals all over the land he wanted when the owners refused to sell.  Voila! In 1896, the owners finally agreed to sell the land to Brother Andre and the chapel was built.

The “rules” for burying the St. Joseph statue vary.  I say, play it safe and try them all.

  • Upside down and near the for sale sign
  • Right side up
  • EXACTLY 12 inches deep
  • Facing the house
  • Facing away from the house
  • 3 feet from the rear of the house
  • Lying on its back and pointing towards the house like a divine arrow
  • In the rear yard…preferably in a flower bed

You can find St. Joseph statues easily on the Internet. There are several sites (here are two: and where you can get your very own St. Joseph statue.   There’s a 4″ St. Joseph and a 8″ St. Joseph which I guess will sell your home twice as fast?  One guy has even written a 120 page book called St. Joseph My Real Estate Agent

I had clients who, with a little help from St. Joseph and a little help from me, sold their home.  They buried 4 St. Joseph statues in their yard because they couldn’t find him when they wanted to reposition him.

You do have to be careful, however.  Don’t underestimate the power of the statue.  You should dig it up when you sell and close on your home, or rumor has it the home will continue to change owners frequently. 

There’s also the story of the guy who got impatient when his home didn’t sell.  He harvested his St. Joseph statue and tossed it in the trash. A few days later, imagine his surprise at the headline “Local Dump Sold”

Somehow I just don’t think Jesus’s earthly father ever intended to be a Real Estate Agent.  As Joseph was walking through Bethlehem pulling along his donkey upon which sat his very pregnant wife, Mary.  As they knocked on doors and were eventually led to the stable where the Savior of the world would be born.  I somehow have difficulty imagining Joseph saying “Just think, Mary, some day my likeness will be rendered in plastic by the tens of thousands to be buried forgotten in the dirt all over the US…so that I, Joseph the carpenter, can get those homes sold”.  

There are, however, folks who are convinced the little statue sold their home and who am I to argue?  I think twice before stepping on a crack. I avoid walking under ladders. I cringe when a black cat crosses the road in front of me and sometimes….just sometimes…I think there really is a Santa Claus.


  1. Great article on the myth of St. Joseph. I recently wrote an article on the WordPress blog for about the St. Joseph’s Myth. Would love for you to check it out.


  2. Thanks, Jonathan!

  3. Hey Amy!!

    haha… I just had to comment. This was not only quite informative, and interesting, but rather silly. I had no idea people were really doing this. Perhaps I got into the wrong business? Maybe I should be manufacturing plastic saints?? I’ll make the 16″ and 32″ Josephs which are sure to sell your home 4 times and 8 times as fast (size does matter). Perhaps a “choose your size” option; for the seller who wants to have even more control over the speed at which their house sells. I mean, what if 16″ is not enough, but 32″ is just overkill? Oooooh… How about a 6′ St. Joseph fountain for the front lawn? I can sell it to staging companies to rent out to agents whose sellers really want to move that property fast! Or maybe some St. Joseph real estate sign riders… St. Joseph balloons to put on Open House signs? If you just use your imagination; there’s really no end to the possibilities.

    Hey, by the way… Silly Joey Poon emailed me again last week!! Apparently I’ve got a bit more money coming to me. Oh, and Mrs. Ing Chunny Liu from Toyota just informed me of my winning their “TOYOTA FORTUNE LOTTO DRAW”. So there’s another $500k… It’s been a good month…



  4. Hey Dominique~
    Good to hear from you! Yes…certainly some untapped marketing potential with the St. Joseph statues. Go for it! Good ole’ Joey Poon still trying to get rid of that money. Go figure! Congrats on that Lotto Draw too. Wow!!!

  5. MPAnthony says:

    To whom it may concern:


    I am shocked and dismayed at the gall to advertise introductions to porn sites using St. Joseph Statues and prayers. That is insanity. I am sure St. Joseph is praying for the “re-building” and purity of the site promoters mind, heart and soul.

    It is certainly understandable why God is “Infinite” with this kind of crap going on in the world.

    M P Anthony

  6. M P Anthony
    I have no idea what you’re talking about? There are NO introductions to porn sites on my blog. Care to clarify?

  7. Is burying statue of St. Joseph really helps on selling house?


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