Buy a Home During Mercury Retrograde? Not in This Universe. | Kanebridge News
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Buy a Home During Mercury Retrograde? Not in This Universe.

These two buyers found the perfect home, but the stars hadn’t yet realigned

By AMY GAMERMAN
Wed, Sep 21, 2022 8:37amGrey Clock 3 min
Has astrology ever affected a sale?

Joanne Greene, associate broker, Brown Harris Stevens in New York City

I ran into the wife of an old client of mine. They were deciding, “Should we renovate or should we move?”

So we go out, we start looking at things. It was really about seeing what was out there, as opposed to doing a renovation. We found something that was way out of their price range, $12.5 million, on the Upper East Side. But I knew these people, and it was a perfect apartment for them.

The wife was going on a hiking trip in Northern California, but at the very last minute the trip was canceled because of the mudslides there. So we decided to go back and look at this apartment again. They said, “You know what, we love it, we really want to do it. We’ll have to sell our apartment.” Then they said, “But Mercury is entering into retrograde, so everything has to be done beforehand.”

They explained to me that they don’t make decisions during the time Mercury is in retrograde. It affected when they got engaged, when they got married, all their purchasing decisions. It had gotten to the point where now they don’t travel when Mercury is in retrograde. They’ve converted their travel agent over to the stars.

Usually people aren’t in such a rush. But as a broker, I was like, “Great! Let’s do it sooner rather than later!” It all took like a week. We put in an offer. We did share with the sellers that the buyers wouldn’t sign any documents while Mercury was in retrograde so we’d have to get the contract signed quickly. We also had to sign an exclusive on their apartment to list it.

By the way, I’d never heard about any of this before, but if that’s what they wanted, I’m completely onboard.

It was all good karma for everyone. Every transaction worked out so well and so smoothly. It’s very rare to have that happen when you’re handling both the purchasing and the selling; there are a lot of moving parts.

I’m not superstitious, but I’ve had clients who don’t want 4s in a contract, or who want 8s. I say, “If you want all 8s in it, that’s fine!” I had a rabbi who wanted everything to add up to 18, because that’s good luck. That’s fine, too.

Wendy Arriz, associate broker, Sotheby’s International Realty in New York City

I was representing a seller of a home downtown—an off-market listing priced north of $10 million. The buyer was a past client of mine. When I described the property, this buyer got super-interested. They came and saw it and made an offer. But it was made clear that this person wasn’t going to be in a position to sign a contract right then because, as a rule of thumb, this person never made any serious decisions or did contract signings while Mercury is in retrograde. They said, “No, no, no, things can really go awry; it’s just not done.”

At first, I couldn’t believe it. I thought, “Really?” But you know, I also want to be respectful. So that was a term of the deal—a verbal understanding, there was nothing in writing. I passed it along to the seller. There was a bit of a giggle, but it wasn’t an issue. This was a downtown seller. Someone on the Upper East Side might not have processed it as well.

There was a lot of Google searching to figure out the dates. I did the deal sheet and organized the specifics. The attorneys were doing the due diligence; a home inspection was involved. It was all going like a normal transaction would, with the understanding that nothing was going to get signed till Mercury was no longer in retrograde.

Then the stars were clear. The contract could be signed. I contacted my buyer about whether they wanted to move forward now that the coast was clear—and they didn’t. The buyer was having an issue.

I hadn’t had any deals fall apart in the 14 years I’ve been selling real estate. I try to just steer the course and do the right thing and if things are meant to be, they’re meant to be. This deal fell apart, but it wasn’t because Mercury was in retrograde.

Or was it?

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RMIT expert says a conflation of factors is making the property market hard than ever to predict

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A leading property academic has described navigating the current Australian housing market ‘like steering a ship through a thick fog while trying to avoid obstacles’.

Lecturer in RMIT’s School of Property Construction and Project Management Dr Woon-Weng Wong said the combination of consecutive interest rate rises aimed at combating high inflation, higher property prices during the pandemic and cost of living pressures such as the end of the fuel excise that occurred this week made it increasingly difficult for those looking to enter or upgrade to find the right path.

“Property prices grew by approximately 25 percent over the pandemic so it’s unsurprising that much of that growth ultimately proved unsustainable and the market is now correcting itself,” Dr Wong says. “Despite the recent softening, the market is still significantly above its long-term trend and there are substantial headwinds in the coming months. Headline inflation is still red hot, and the central bank won’t back down until it reins in these spiralling prices.” 

This should be enough to give anyone considering entering the market pause, he says.

“While falling house prices may seem like an ideal situation for those looking to buy, once the high interest rates, taxes and other expenses are considered, the true costs of owning the property are much higher,” Dr Wong says. 

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