Law of Attraction Crushed by Law of Supply and Demand

The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian report that the “Law of Attraction” guru and bestselling author of “The Secret” was not able to manifest a buyer for her California home despite it being for sale for a year.

Rhonda Byrne said she could have sold her house for the original list price ($23.5 million) if she “put in the time and energy” but, apparently, the Law of Attraction is so time consuming it wasn’t worth her time and energy any more so she lowered the price by $4.7 million.

LA Home Prices Today Like 2007

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Byrne bought the house near Santa Barbara in 2007 but wasn’t able to manifest a better real estate market either. Her home likely lost one-third of its value within two years of buying it. California home prices have rebounded strongly in recent years but aren’t fully back to 2007 prices yet.

Byrne paid $18 million for the home in 2007. It is now listed for sale for $18.8 million.

Law of Attraction Mainly Attracts Salespeople

People usually weigh the pros and cons before they decide to buy anything. The Law of Attraction is a genius sales technique because it says you should not even think about the cons because, if you do, you will in fact cause those bad things to happen. So it’s your own fault when bad things happen, you manifested those bad things because you worried they might happen. The only solution – the magnificient sales solution – is to not even consider what could go wrong.

Believing wholeheartedly in the Law of Attraction is great for salespeople because some of it rubs off onto impressionable clients and that’s great for business. The true believers in the Law of Attraction tend to be salespeople who’ve made more money since they adopted the philosophy, and people who were converted to the philosophy by salespeople who were trying to sell them something.

I wonder if Byrne’s real estate agent told her in 2007 her home’s value wouldn’t go down unless Byrne thought it would go down?

Pro People and Con People

  • Some people focus on what they would gain if things go right. They’re excitable, they’re fun, they sometimes do impossible things but they make a lot of mistakes.
  • Others – like me – focus on what we would lose if things go wrong. We’re cautious, we’re prepared, we don’t make a lot of mistakes but we miss opportunities.
  • Everybody has both traits. Everybody needs both traits.

To say it’s wrong to even think about what could go wrong is just plain wrong.

I certainly want my pilot, my airplane mechanic and my airplane builder to constantly be asking themselves, “What could go wrong” so they can prevent it.


ADDED: I thought I was being a little snide until I read the comments on this post at Gawker.

ADDED LATER: Liz thinks I was a bit snarky so I’ll clarify by agreeing with this quote from best-selling author, Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson, a social psychologist and Associate Director of the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia Business School.

“People who write about the Law of Attraction and talk about sort of being relentlessly positive in your thinking and banishing all negative thoughts… I do believe that the vast majority of them mean well when they give this kind of advice and they believe that it works. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.

If you spend all your time doing this unrealistic optimism, we find that people are FAR less likely to actually reach their goals.” — Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson

Listen to the Whole Interview


Although the vast majority of people who believe in the Law of Attraction mean well, I think it’s still a killer sales technique whether it’s used that way intentionally or not.

The Good News

  • You don’t have to worry about being a little bit of a worrier.
  • Worrying (in moderation) about what can go wrong actually helps people reach their goals.

Quite naturally, it’s good to be prepared for potential problems.

And that’s what Real Estate Decoded is all about – helping you to be prepared before you buy or sell a home.