Al and Cal Homes and Community: Can You Jinx A Deal?

Can You Jinx A Deal?

Can You Jinx A Deal?

Silly question isn't it?    Or is it?   

You list a house.    Nothing but excitement in getting the marketing going.   Photos are taken just right and then dissected to see what ones will make the cut and the order in which they will show.     Sign goes up on the front lawn with a big old smile and a wave to the neighbor passerby's.    The just listed postcard is designed and published and mailed to the appropriate people.    An ecard also designed with care and sent out.     On line ads, videos and the like scrutinized and published.   jinx, black cat, Superstition

The marketing pays off and you get an offer in just days!!    Now comes the dilemma.    A respected and successful colleague encourages a pending post card.   Great idea!  Makes sense.   Works like crazy for her.  The double whammy.      Nothing better.   The for sale sign goes up and  then the pending rider in a matter of days.  It says to the public, "wow, they're good!".    Great for business.  

There is just one problem.

It is that little nagging voice in the left ear that says, there is a lot that has to happen before you can really call this pending.    We have home inspections, purchase and sales agreements to sign and of course the mortgage contingency clause has to be met.   In other words, we have a long way to go baby before getting to that table.    

Can you jinx the transaction by doing this stuff before the deal is really sealed?  

Superstitions are silly.   But honestly, I can't help myself sometimes.    If a black cat crosses my path, I have to turn around and start again.    It seems pretty silly to do that but  I can tell you that I have had bad things happen to me after crossing a cats path.   So, why take the chance again?   

I have had deals go south after a pending sign went up.   Did the sign have anything to do with the demise of those deals?    Of course not, but why push luck?     Putting a sold sign up before getting a mortgage commitment?   Are you just asking for trouble?   A Jinx?   Probably not, but what if?   How does the general public perceive a  pending turning back into a for sale?.    

Superstition and professionalism don't go hand and hand, you might say.     But wait, aren't there professional ball players that have to wear the same shirt or walk the same route before a game?   Don't tell me they aren't good at what they do, because they are.     I know for a fact too that there are very successful salespeople (and not real estate sales people either) that have to use the same pen when signing a contract.    There are judges that use the same gavel.   There are all kinds of pros that have a routine and stick to it.   

And, let's be serious.   I know of a lot of agents that have "planted" a Saint Joseph in the yard of a seller.    In fact the Fatima Shrine right down the street seems to sell a bunch of those home selling saints!  (and they are not selling them to me either!)

Okay, so maybe that's prayer not superstition.   

But again I ask.   Can you jinx a deal??




Looking to sell your home?     Superstitious or not.   I will not rest until the deal is completely done! 





Carol-Ann Palmieri

Al and Cal Realty Group

Remax Executive Realty




Comment balloon 63 commentsCarol-Ann Palmieri • January 22 2013 04:16PM


It certainly feels like it at times.  I try not to even think about the commission, much less say the figure out loud, my husband thinks I am crazy but  I am particularly leary of this one.

Posted by Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life (Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/ over 6 years ago

Hi Al and Carol, I like to have all the conditions removed, or as many as possible, before the sold sign goes up. I guess I'am bit superstitious. LOL.

Posted by Adrian Willanger, Profit from my two decades of experience (206 909-7536 over 6 years ago

Carol Ann: I would not call my self superstitious but I do like to make it through the appraisal before putting anything out.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) over 6 years ago

HI Carol Ann.... I send out my sale pending postcards when the p&s is signed.... the listing is flagged in mls....and goes under agreement when the p&s is signed.... can't jinx anything.... if we miss one and the deal falls through, another round of postcards won't be rarely happens...we lost one deal last year.... lose one, get two!!

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 6 years ago

It is an interesting point of view.  I think that once all the docs are signed and the inspections are done, it is safe to put up the sale pending sign.  If you know the lender and trust that the pre-approval letter is worth the paper that it is printed on, and if you are sure of your value and the appraiser will agree, I say go for it. 

Posted by Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Tanya.   We all have our little "things" that others might think crazy.  Thanks for reading.

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Valerie.  haha.  I know!    Thanks.

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Adrian.  I think we all are in some way.   Thanks!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Anita.   Maybe it's not superstitious, just experience.   :)

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Barbara.   Lose one, get two...  One train leaves another one comes...   I hear you loud and clear!!!!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Karen.  Yes,  I like to put the pending after the P&S, and the sold after the mortgage commitment.  

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

I'm a believer is superstition and 'habits and routines' but I don't know about just listed riders and postcards jinxing a deal. Perhaps you just need to add these to your habits and routines and then if you DONT send a pending postcard, you will think the deal fell apart because you DIDN'T do these things. 

Posted by Brian Rayl, Active Agent and Co-founder Of Home Value Leads (Home Value Leads) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann, I have an over enthuastic partner that ;oles tp send out announcements, etc about pending sales.  I like to hang back and wait to be sure, don't want to jinx it!

Posted by Christine OShea (Christine E O'Shea Real Estate Broker) over 6 years ago

I will usually do it after the inspections and option period are over and the home is truly pending...if it falls through that bites, but God Willing not lol :).  Now, I am wondering if I should wait until after the appraisal...

Thanks Carol Ann for the paranoia right berfore bed lol :)!

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann....I am a bit of the same way.  I used to write "Under Agreement" posts after the mortgage contingency was met but it still made me nervous!  That's why we don't see those "sale pending" or "sold" riders on house signs too much any more.  Not that I'm superstitious.....

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - over 6 years ago



Very well written blog just like most if not all of your blogs. You ask a very good question. I would not put out the pending sign until the inspections are done, 10 day option period is over and you have a loan commitment. I do follow some stupid superstitions. Why tempt faith? I suggested your post..

Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) over 6 years ago
Some deals start off wrong and never end up right. I am definitely superstitious and feel like anything I do will jinx the dea.
Posted by Kay Van Kampen, Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate (RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX) over 6 years ago

Hey, lets not blame the black England the black cat is considered luck.

I am not superstitios, but just make sure the toilet seat is down so that the money does not leave the house...

Eve in Orlando

Posted by Mike & Eve Alexander, Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers (Buyers Broker of Florida ) over 6 years ago

Hi Brian.  Exactly.   haha.  Thanks for your twist on this.


Hi Christine.   Sounds like the perfect balance in a partnership!


Hi Brenda.    I know you have a Siamese though!   You should be okay!


Hi Christine.  I know it is silly, but there is that uneasy feeling.  Thanks for checking in and taking the time to post.


Hi Bob.  Thanks for the push.    How's the foot?


Hi Kay.   I am guessing we  must all have some superstitions.   


Hi Eve.   I did not know that about the black cat or the toilet seat.   I am wondering now if I can use that to get some "people" to leave it down!     haha.   I will let you know if it works!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Put the Sold sign up. If it does fall thorugh @ least they know your working.  Jim

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 6 years ago

Yes, that's a great question and I'm going to go with, "Of course." That's my answer and I'm sticking to it like glue.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) over 6 years ago

I don't take the sign down or lockbox off until AFTER the closing.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 6 years ago

Maybe leaving a SOLD sign for a week after the home closes is better with the owner's permission?

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 6 years ago

So funny that I came across your blog.  I have been fighting my over active superstitions for about 25 years.  But, a listing we have now that is under contract and just about ready to close, I still can't seem to get my bright red shiney "Just Sold" banner out of my trunk.

Crazy what we do to ourselves.  I think it stems from doubting that things can ever go really well for you.

Posted by Jay & Michelle Lieberman, Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos (Keller Williams World Class) over 6 years ago

You can create opportunites for problems with negative thoughts.

Posted by Edward Gilmartin (CRE) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann, as i do so many short sales I prefer to wait until I get the letter from the bank that we have a closing date, and even then I am saying those prayers

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 6 years ago

Knowing how easily a deal can not close does put the concern in the process but I still do the process, signs, riders all the bells and whistles. Congrats on the feature; it was a good read.


Posted by Teral McDowell (Referral Patners LLC) over 6 years ago

Hi Jimmy.     Good way to look at it!  Thanks for checking in.


Hi Jill.  Said and Done!!!   Yes!


Hi Tammy.   I am with you girl!


Hi Gary.   That is the best way.


Hi Jay and Michelle.    Yes, or wanting to do better.   Which is it???  :)


Hi Edward.   You sound like my sister Teresa!





Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Hi Ed.   Those short sales are something else.   They need an agent with experience and determination.   No superstition there!   


Hi Teral.   Thank you.   I have found that I  love to write.  

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Oh heck, Greg Nino did a blog about him buying some St. in the backyard facing The Vatican in order to get a deal done.  I like Eve's superstition.  Never heard that one before.

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 6 years ago

I have had the same gut feeling after putting up the PENDING rider. Over all I do feel that it is important to keep the information current and accurate, for both the Sellers and the Buyers. I have found that the all parties feel more comfortable when informed  rather then left in the dark. If things fall apart we always have a plan "B"  find and dust off a new rider sign " Back on the Market "

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) over 6 years ago

Real estate is too sensitive to be arrogant. Let transactions play out and get the check before you start spending the money or assuming anything. I don't even tell clients until I get signatures. 

Posted by Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro (Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann:  I don't think you can really "jinx" a deal, but I do think you can become so stressed and worried about it that you begin to do things differently than you would one of your other "typical" deals.  Going outside of your normal procedures can cause mistakes to happen, which can surely ruin a transaction.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 6 years ago

I don't consider myself superstitious but I'm veeeerrryyyyy careful and often find myself knocking on wood.

Posted by Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits (Realty World Alliance) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann~ Not only planted the statue- but had a ceremony with the agent to bless the process- and then came back to dig the statue up and bring him with them to their new home! YAY superstition!  (=^:^=)


Congratulations on the Feature
from the gal who has St Joseph (retrieved) facing east (for this is where I want to stay) on her window sill.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 6 years ago

Carol-Ann, I am going to say no.  I think it is best to stay focused on the best outcome for all involved.

Posted by Christina Sanchez Hood, #SiliconValleyHOODS | Inspired Living over 6 years ago

Carol Ann,

I may write a blog post here on Active Rain about a pending deal, but I've never put a sign on a property. I would prefer drive by's to potentially call from the sign. Pending riders influence them in the other direction.


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Hi Guys, Until the day of closing, I never consider anything sold.  You are right, too much can happen after the initial offer through closing.  So I await with bated breath and occasionally touch on wood!  Nice post.

Posted by Amada Slade (Island Realty of the Lowcountry) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann, this is very funny & it doesn't pay to be superstitious in this home your job well and keep that other agent in shape with that client towing the line!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Well, I'm very superstitous about stuff like this... so I am very reticent to hang out pending/sold signs, etc. until I'm very certain the transaction is a go. I just prefer to send out a just sold card when it's actually sold and if it got sold quickly make that a key message in the just sold card.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) over 6 years ago

Cute post.  Last year we had a client that wanted to list her home at the very top of the price range and wait it out until the right buyer came along.  We had a lot of showings and a few offers that weren't quite high enough.  Then she buried a Saint Joseph in the back yard, and a week later we got a full price offer.  Funny how that works.  :)

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 6 years ago

Hi Carla.  I have heard of that too and have had clients ask me to.


Hi Chuck.   I hope I don't have to use plan B at all this year!


Hi Charlie.    There are so many things that can go wrong, I believe it is best to be sure before telling anyone too!


Hi Karen.    Absolutely true. 


Hi Joel.   haha.   I know, right?

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

Carol Ann, I don't think I'm superstitious, but I learned to never count the money from a pending transaction before cashing the check. Will this jinx a sale - maybe?

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 6 years ago

Carol Ann,

In our office we never talk a lot about a pending at first. It seems whenever their is celebration or ebullience about a difficult listing that goes under it falls apart. Stay calm and focused. In our state it is forbidden by the RE Commission to put out a pending or sold sign on a yard sign. (Hmm, I wonder if the State is superstitious?)

Posted by Dana Basiliere, Making deals "Happen" (Rossi & Riina Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Jinxes and superstitions are all bunk. We've never had a transaction go bad (nose grows a little). Just do what you normally do and everything will be fine. Now if you'll excuse us, we have to go burn some incense on the altar of St. Joseph...

Posted by Pat & Wayne Harriman, Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate (Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499) over 6 years ago

there is no question that some deals just become snake biten and no matter how hard you try and fix, it , the problem just seems to get worse

Posted by Paddy Deighan JD PhD, Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D ( over 6 years ago

Fung shui, St Joseph statues - I leave it up to the seller & always say cheerfully 'yeah, it couldn't hurt'.  I have to laugh about a St Joseph statue that was buried by my aunt in one of my listings & it killed the bush it was planted next too! lol.  My aunt loves that story but her house sold.

I do think that some agents jinx a deal from the get go. You've all run across agents that decide to rewrite the approved board contract or add other ridiculous things to the contract.  Those are the deal killers who just don't know when to stop. 

Or, you talk to a seller that you know is outright nuts. I can tell that she will do everything in her power to 'make things go right' or in otherwords, mess the deal up entirely.  I had a buyer interested in a short sale & I told the buyer straight out - it will never make it to closing because the seller is nuts.  We'll see if I'm right.

Christiansen's #42 - lol! That's how this stuff starts.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 6 years ago

Hey. . who told you about my ritual before each closing. . where and how I park my car. . I'v been doing this since my first closing. .and the times I've missed. .I had a lot of drama. .

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 6 years ago

I am not superstitous and I put up a sold sign once the inspectioons are done.  Occasionally the home has to go back on the market, but I can't wait too long or I lose the opportunity to have the sign up very long.  Postcards wait until closing.

Posted by Jim Basquette, CRS, CNE, GRI, e-Pro, CLHMS, PSA (Basquette Group of Huff Realty) over 6 years ago

It's gotten to the point that I don't put up a pending sign until all the contingencies in the contract have been met.  Last year, I had two listings that each had 4 contracts before they actually closed.  I felt like I was a crazy magnet! My goal this year -- one contract per closing.

Posted by Debra Hight, Debra Hight (Coldwell Banker United, Realtors) over 6 years ago

It's not a matter of superstition to me.  It's just that things happen and it makes sense to wait and be sure.  One of my sellers recently had a crazy buyer (working with another agent, thank goodness - a good one who hated this as mch as I did).   Deal nearly done - seller had already signed documents, attorney was ready, and at last minute buyer backed out and said she didn't have to tell us why - with a letter from the previously approving lender.   Hurt everyone.  

Posted by Mary Sheridan, Creative Marketing, Buyer Agency 423-943-7655 (Keller Willliams - 1033 Hamilton Place,Johnson City TN 37604) over 6 years ago

I am the owner of two blacks.  They are my babies.  So I don't believe in the superstition of black cats, pathways.



Posted by Angelia Garcia (Pure Realtors) over 6 years ago

First, I think it's a bad idea to put up the sign before the sale closes. I don't know if that's superstition or not.I haven't had a license for several years now, so am not 100% clear on the rules, but I believe it was against Idaho real estate law to hang "sold" on a sign until it was actually sold. Pending signs were OK - but why use them?

It's good advertising to say "look how fast I sold this" but at the same time that sign prevents a would-be buyer from calling - a buyer who might be a perfect match for a different house.

Second, I've lived with plenty of black cats, so that one doesn't get to me.

Third, I believe that if you believe in a supersitition, it is important and true. The Law of Attraction dictates that if you're focused on worrying about something, that something will most likely happen.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 6 years ago
Cal, Congrats on the featured post as it is well deserved. I hope you folks have a really good weekend.
Posted by Robert Bob Gilbert, Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties) over 6 years ago

I usually wait until very close to Closing to put a PENDING sign out.... jess in case....

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker, email: / cell: 334-494-7846 (Team Linda Simmons, Enterprise, AL 36330) over 6 years ago

I played a lot of baseball when I was young and followed lots of sueprstitions then.  Had to have #13, don't step on the foul line, lucky game sox, same bat until I struck out, tap home plate twice etc... No need to tempt fate so don't. 


Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) over 6 years ago

You can't jinx a deal, however, making an announcement that a sale is pending is good business. As a Realtor, I want to know ASAP if a property isn't active, wouldn't you?

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 6 years ago

I don't believe in all those superstitious things that some people believe in, but I guess if you believe you can Jinx a deal you can.  It's like the quote, "If you believe you can, you can and If you believe you can't, then you can't".   However I don't spend my commission until the transaction is closed.  It just makes since.  Anything could happen.

Posted by Sharon Sanchez, Your Number "1" Source For Real Estate. (Ace Home Realty) over 6 years ago

Hi Al & Cal, for that reason we stopped putting pending sign riders out.

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 6 years ago

There are superstitions everywhere Cal, and real estate is certainly no exception.  Terrific post, congrats on the feature.

Posted by Al Raymondi, Ormond By The Sea Florida - Home and Condo Sales (Ocean View Realty Group in Ormond By The Sea Florida) over 6 years ago

Thank you all for taking the time to read and weigh in!   Appreciate each comment.     Thank you!

Posted by Carol-Ann Palmieri, "Cal" the Real Estate Gal (RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group) over 6 years ago

I have do not even look at what I will get paid until I am told the deal has recorded ... it seems any time I start counting my chickens before they hatch the deal goes south fast .... 

Posted by Lehel Szucs, REALTOR of choice (All Seasons Real Estate, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Well one rule I have is don't spend the commission check until it is in my bank.  

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 6 years ago