Broker bestows a rather unusual housewarming gift

By Lucy Cohen Blatter  | January 25, 2012 - 7:22AM

A bottle of Veuve Cliquot on closing day is a pretty typical gift to receive from one's real estate broker, but one BrickUndergrounder tells us about a more unique present she received after buying her one-bedroom co-op on the Upper West Side.

Broker Lisa Graham of CORE NYC, who is also an Institute for Integrative Nutrition-certified health counselor, offered her clients an apartment "clearing" as a housewarming gift to clear out old energy and start anew.

According to the buyer, this particular apartment was an Upper West Side prewar co-opwas once the site of a brothel, with customers including mobsters and politicians. The last resident (and seller of the apartment) turned out to be "difficult" to deal with. She welcomed the idea of starting anew with a clearing.

Graham asked the buyers to write down their "intentions" -- the things they wished for themselves, for their new home, and the things they wanted to let go of in the past. She then burned the sheet of paper, and proceeded to light a bundle of sage. 

She took the smoking sage and went from room to room and corner to corner in a process known as "smudging" -- which is supposed to get rid of any lingering negative spirits. She also used chimes throughout the apartment thought to break up any stagnant energy through their high-pitched vibrations. 

“To be honest, I felt lighter,” the buyer tells us, admitting that she knew nothing about the process beforehand. “I felt like my husband and I could have been the only people who have ever lived in the apartment.”

In addition to offering it as a housewarming gift, Graham says she sometimes performs a clearing if an apartment won’t sell. 

“Overall, it was a really cool experience,” the buyer said. “You have to have an open mind about it, but either way, it doesn't hurt to have it done, and it made us feel like it was the finishing touch on our new apartment.”

Keep in mind that closing gifts go both ways. After a closing, brokers love to receive chocolates, Champagne, restaurant gift certificates, but most of all... referrals.


10 Minutes with Rose Praino: Touching up (and custom-fitting) NYC apartment until they're move-in ready 

How to thank your real estate broker

Find a great agent with BrickUnderground's Agent Referral Service













Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.