There was a cute front page article in today's Southtown Star (Aug. 30, 2006) titled "For sale by St. Joe." In fact, an agent from my office, Mary Pettenon, got her photo and her own little article on page A8.
I've never suggested to my seller clients to do this, but over the years I think a few have. Personally, I don't know if I believe it was St. Joseph that caused the sale, but if sellers want to give the statue the credit, so be it. My husband Jimmy Herter is a true believer and just buried a St. Joe statue at his newest listing.
I also pictured people burying a large statue (like a large doll size) but I guess there is an internet source for a 3 1/2 inch version that you can purchase at www.stjosephstatue.com based in California. I'm not sure where my husband got his statue.
Hey, the market is slowing and sellers need all the help they can get, especially with summer ending in Chicago suburbs - although I still recommend pricing your property correctly for it's current condition. If you do that, I don't think you'll need to purchase a statue.
Update: Real estate sales are definitely picking up (2014), but no matter how the current market is doing, pricing your home correctly and having it show as the cream of the crop in its price range will guarantee a sale, St. Joseph or not. If your home is languishing on the market then something is wrong, and it's usually because it is priced too high for its condition (or location - see my post about Buying a Home on a Busy Street).