Recently, some clients of mine were readying their house for sale. I came in to look around and see if there were areas that needed freshening up or to identify extraneous clutter that should be eliminated before the first Open House. Often sellers are so used to their surroundings, they no longer have the ability to identify what needs to be done because they’re too used to them. The couch with the tear in the arm or that splotch of off-color paint that has been on the wall for years becomes just the fabric of their day-to-day lives. I’d say everyone who has been in a home for a while needs someone with a fresh eye to be able to determine what needs to be done in order to efficiently photograph, market and ultimately sell a home.

But sometimes this role is subjective and needs additional opinions before determining the right choice. For example, I walked through this one house in particular and offered minor suggestions as to what they should do before the photographer came later that day. Take away that extra bookshelf here, remove the toy buckets from over there, swap out this chair for another, etc. An hour or so later, I received a call from my wife who also went by the house as she does for all of my listings. She writes up the descriptions for the homes that I sell. I picked up the phone and her voice was shrill with alarm. ‘Did you see what they had in the back room??’ I had no idea what she was talking about. What blaring offense had I missed when I toured the home earlier in the day?? I answered, ‘No. What are you talking about?’ ‘THERE WAS A SNAKE!!!’ She was so scared seeing their pet snake in a cage, she was horrified to imagine how hundreds of would-be-buyers might react during an Open House. I walked right past it earlier and didn’t think twice about it. Yin and yang? Man vs. woman? Snake-a-phobe vs. reptile tolerant? Either way you look at it, sometimes it’s best to get more than one opinion when it comes to prepping your home for sale because while one person may not have a problem, someone else might. In the end, my wife’s reaction won out. Mr. Snake was safely moved in his habitat to an undisclosed location for the duration of the Open House. The house showed beautifully and all the visitors that day had a pleasant snake-free time.

Take note, tarantula owners: best to temporarily remove your furry friends before putting your home on the market. Always better to be safe than sorry.