Monday, August 31, 2009

What's Luck Got to Do With Selling Houses in Baltimore, MD?

What's Luck Got to Do With Selling Houses in Baltimore, MD?

DiceWhat's Luck Got to Do With It?

Four Leaf CloverNot long ago I talked with Ylan Q Mui, a staff writer at the Washington Post, who was writing an article on the things sellers do to help sell their houses. She wasn't interested in decluttering or staging. What she wanted to talk about was lucky charms, totems, and other magical devices.

Her article, "Lady Luck Lounges on A Red Couch," ran on August 9, but you can still find it online ( She interviewed some agents in the area and included this about me and my lucky number:

"Margaret Rome, a real estate agent in Baltimore, has established her own lucky tradition. When she started selling houses about 20 years ago, she said, she was scooting around in a brown Porsche 944. She loved the car and decided to claim the number as her own. So on her very first listing, she ended the price in '944.'

Chinese Good Fortune PigSt. Joseph Statue"It sold within a week. Rome tried it again with her second listing, and it sold within two weeks. She did it again for her third listing, and it also got snapped up.

"I said, 'There's something to this,' she recalled.

"Rome has since used the number for every property, though she now drives a convertible Lexus. ("I didn't want to jinx it," she said.) Only once did she stray, when a family instead asked to use a number that is auspicious in Asian traditions, an eight. So Rome priced the house to end in '988.' Luckily, she said, it sold."

The thing is, I believe luck really has very little to do with selling houses. I believe it's much more the total of how you become known in your community, how you build your referrals over time, and how you treat people. As the saying goes, "The harder I work, the luckier I get!"

This story was picked up and ran on the front page of The Baltimore Sun's Real Estate section. Two calls from friends who read it in the Boston Globe.

How's your luck these days?

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