Real Estate Marketing for Dummies

Or perhaps to dummies would be more accurate. Olivia Newton-John called in a Catholic priest to exorcize a house she owns in Florida and is trying to sell. A contractor committed suicide there and apparently potential buyers, including Rosie O’Donnell, were being scared off the by the specter (see what I did there?) of ghosts and evil spirits lurking about.

Grease star Olivia Newton-John ordered an exorcism at her $5.6million Florida home to expel the spirit of a suicide victim.

Mrs Newton-John, 64, flew in a Catholic priest to conduct the ritual after Christopher Pariseleti, a 41-year-old contractor, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the house last month.

She is said to have ordered the cleansing ritual to reassure potential buyers that the property is not haunted.

The singer, 64, her husband John Easterling, 61, and two other friends attended the ceremony last week, where prayers were spoken and holy water sprinkled around rooms in the house, according to the Sunday Express.

The decision to hold the ritual was made after comedian Rosie O’Donnell pulled out of buying the home, for which she had previously offered $5.6million.

Despite the star cutting the asking price for the home by $320,000, there are still reportedly no interested parties.

Maybe they can borrow a sign from Disney World and change the wording a bit: You must be this rational to buy this house.

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  • cry4turtles

    One would think, considering the cost of my student loans, that money could buy intelligence, but not so.

  • unbound

    @cry4turtles – Success has less to do with intelligence than most people think and are told in school. While an education and intelligence are key to do well from a middle-class expectation, getting to be really rich has more to do with losing (or at least loosening) your morals and focus on making that money at all costs, with the occasional exceptions of raw, highly focused talent (e.g. football player, actor/actress) that also has little correlation with intelligence or education.

  • Abby Normal

    Mrs Newton-John, 64, flew in a Catholic priest to conduct the ritual

    Everyone knows that you need two priests, an old one and a young one, for the spell to be effective. When will homeowners learn that when you try to do home improvements on the cheep you just end up paying more in the long run? Now Mrs Newton-John is going to have to hire a couple professionals to do the job right, on top of what she already paid the first priest.

  • Trebuchet

    Someone should buy the house and turn it into a haunted B&B. They’d make a mint.

    A friend of my late mother lived in a house previously owned by “Dynasty” actress LInda Evans, near Tacoma, WA. Evans was a follower of “channeler” (read: charlatan) J.Z. Knight so the lady believed the house was haunted and had secret passages, although she hadn’t found them yet!

  • caseloweraz

    Too bad they can’t bring in Zelda Rubinstein (Tangina from Poltergeist), just to be sure.

    Alas, she died in 2010.

  • Too bad they can’t bring in Zelda Rubinstein (Tangina from Poltergeist), just to be sure.

    Alas, she died in 2010.

    In this situation, that’s a mere technicality.

  • busterggi

    And when the priests are done will she bring in a feng shui master to design the interior?

  • Abby Normal

    Years ago some friends and I were renting a house together. One day I invited my girlfriend to move in with us. But, before she would, she first went through the house burning sage in a cleansing ritual called smudging. During the ritual she asked each person there, “Would you like to be smudged?”

    Wary, one of my friends asked, “What does it do?”

    “It cleanses you of negative energies,” she replied cheerily.

    My friend’s expression grew dark. With an edge of menace he replied, “I have a deep and abiding need for my negative energy.”

    My girlfriend blanched. “Right,” she meekly agreed and quickly moved on. Guess the smudging worked, because the rest of us laughed and laughed.

  • Ethan Myerson

    You could bring in a cleric to ward off the undead, but without a stout fighter and a rogue in the party, you’re just asking for trouble.

  • busterggi, and make sure it’s a master. I got a journeyman to do it and now I’ve got too much shui.

  • Michael Heath

    Prior to my becoming a Realtor®, I never imagined I’d have to deal with buyers thinking a particular house was haunted. And yet I do a handful of times a year. This belief almost always comes from a female buyer as a feeling of dread based on some past event they imagine happened. (I suspect men might feel the same but lie about why they don’t like a particular house.)

    Just last week a middle-aged man casually informed he knew of a haunted house in our small town where he directly observed a ghost. That was a first where I had nothing to say to that. His delivery of his story presumed my perspective was that haunted houses exist, this too was a first. Again, too stunned for words.

    As a Realtor® the far more common belief I have to overcome is with a minority of potential sellers when I’m working on securing the listing; perhaps one out of four or five. This is at the stage where the topic of pricing is raised, it where I present them with my analysis of the market value of their home and how it stacks up to current competition from a number of perspectives, especially relative to my recommended list price. This minority of sellers make a case for a list price way above the valuation I derived and the list (offer) price I recommend to achieve that valuation or near it. This is expressed as the number they either:

    a) claim God informed them they should list at, it’s amazing how God always presents a number way over the market value, or,

    b) the price they hope to get where they believe God will answer their prayers.

    Here’s what’s so encouraging to me in relation to far more important matters. When I then go through my analysis after hearing what they hope will happen, they realize my valuation and pricing strategy is based on both math and important qualitative factors as a professional intimately understands the market. I also heavily back-up my valuations with various statistics that reveal market trends along with success and failure factors. I was initially both surprised and heartened that this minority of believers predominately abandon their perspective and accept my conclusions. Not all can list at the price I recommend if they’re underwater with their mortgage (a quickly declining percentage of sellers); but most abandon faith for reality; far easier than I imagined.

    When we consider that nearly all creationists and climate change deniers, both promoters and the sheeple, are ignorant of what the experts understand, my experience increases my commitment to exposing the public to what science understands as one optimal method to change minds when it comes to science education and science derived public policy. Of course these two subjects are unfortunately fueled by politics so many strident partisans won’t, actually can’t, adapt to defendable positions but instead increase their commitment to falsehoods, far more than the non-political process of pricing one’s home for sale. However evidence and expertise can and does overcome faith, I enjoy participating and making that observation several times every year.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    … prayers were spoken and holy water sprinkled …

    No anointing? No … grease?

  • Larry

    Unless the house had Linda Blair floating above her bed and spewing pea soup, I wouldn’t have worried too much about it.

  • eric

    Meh, I don’t have a problem with it. Its not any more irrational than painting the walls some bland color no buyer will ever keep. In both cases, you’re essentially spending money on ‘sales presentation’ value which has little or no real value. If a $1,000 expenditure nets her a few thousand more in home sale, it’s not Newton John who’s being the idiot, it’s her buyers.

    @8: awesome story, awesome line. 🙂

  • I’m a little bit surprised that she didn’t just have Jenny McCarthy or BobbyPi Jindal come over and do it for her.

  • exdrone

    I’m always surprised when buyers get seller to commit to undertakings rather than making the repairs themselves. You run the risk of the seller cutting quality to save money. What if Newton-John used a defrocked priest or a flawed ritual? Then the attached apparitions will get pissed off and go all poltergeist on you. You really don’t want to move into an Amityville Horror situation for a few more years until there is a market for another remake.

  • birgerjohansson

    “Someone should buy the house and turn it into a haunted B&B. They’d make a mint”


    Or just buy a nice mansion cheaply. Yum.


    “The decision to hold the ritual was made after comedian Rosie O’Donnell pulled out of buying the home, for which she had previously offered $5.6million.”


    -We have a bona fide Rosie O’Donnell repelling house! This is in itself a source of added value.

  • Don Quijote

    How do these people know that them there ebil spiritsis are catlick? I mean, if they are not catlick, won’t they just be dancing around blowing raspberries?