Lucky fig trees help draw buyers
The fig tree, a symbol of knowledge in the Bible, has taken on yet another role: real estate selling point.
Figs are drawing in buyers who give weight to their folklore. And they can sweeten the deal for sellers, sources told The Real Deal.
“The story goes that if there is a fig tree on your property, it’s good luck,” said Adelaide Polsinelli, an investment sales broker with Eastern Consolidated.
Last month, Polsinelli closed on the nearly $6 million sale of multi-family buildings on East 36th Street; the Orthodox Jewish buyer was attracted by the fig trees on the lot.
“I like to believe that it was what enabled us to get a higher price,” she said.
The fig tree is important to many Jewish buyers: It is the first tree mentioned in the Torah; it is mostly likely the “tree of knowledge of good and evil,” which successfully tempted Adam and Eve, getting them expelled from the Garden of Eden; and it is mentioned — along with barley, wheat, wines, olive oil, honey and pomegranates — as one of the seven species that fed the Israelites during biblical times, one that brought prosperity.
Italian Americans, too, revere the fig tree.
“Italian families plant fig trees as a sign of good luck and prosperity,” said Robert Sambone, with Brooklyn-based residential brokerage Galeano Real Estate. The presence of the trees revered by his culture “symbolize that the land is fertile.”
Corcoran Group broker Ariel Shwedel’s listing at 327 Clinton Street, in Cobble Hill, has fig trees in the yard, but so far they have not caught a buyer’s eye.
“I knew fig trees had special significance in Judaism, but in this case they did not seem to have a tremendous effect,” he said. “Maybe if we’d had pomegranates, it would have been a different story.”
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