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Patti Wigington

Pagan Decor and Selling Your Home

By February 24, 2014

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It's that time of year again, when people are getting restless and thinking about putting their homes on the market for spring, so I figured it was time to run this one again!

A reader asks, "I've been trying to sell my house but I'm having some trouble. My realtor is trying to get me to "hide all that witch stuff," but I don't think I should have to, because I'm proud to be Wiccan and I don't hide it. I feel like my realtor is being disrespectful of my beliefs."

No. Your realtor is not being disrespectful, your realtor wants to see you get this house sold. Realtors don't make any money from unsold listings. Although there are a number of reasons your house may not be selling, one of the things any real estate agent will tell you is that you've got to present the house in a way that makes other people imagine their stuff in it -- as opposed to your stuff.

This means that -- for a little while -- you'll need to take down the "A Witch Lives Here" sign and the giant sparkling pentacle that's hanging over your bed. Put away any books that have the words magic, Wicca, occult, or Pagan in the title. The last thing you want is some perfectly nice, financially solvent family to fall in love with your house, and then not make an offer because of what they saw on your bookshelves.

For more on why this matters, read Pagans and Home Selling.
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Comments
April 21, 2010 at 9:07 am
(1) Vandreyer says:

Basically anything that personalizes a house needs to go. That’s why walls are painted one of the thousands of shades of puke white. People are told to take hunting trophies down, too. I would imagine taking kids’ artwork, personal photos, and other specific knickknacks down would be the way to go as well. People don’t want to feel like they are stealing your home or invading your personal space. I know I felt like crap when I discovered somone’s child height markings in some back corner of my house. They are still there and I can’t bring myself to paint over them. lol

April 21, 2010 at 5:45 pm
(2) Adrienne says:

It does feel like you’re giving up or betraying part of yourself when you start hiding things away to sell your home. We’re emotional about our things — especially our sacred things — but we need to remember that it’s nothing personal. It’s just like the above poster said: when you’re selling your home, you want it to be a blank slate for someone else.

Very likely, that real estate agent would have similar advice for an uber Christian person, someone with American flags all over their house, or an avid quilter — things that declare your individuality should be put away when you’re trying to sell your house.

April 22, 2010 at 12:27 am
(3) Crowfeather says:

I remember reading a little guide of homeselling, and one of the tips is to remove all personal photos and knickknacks from the walls. You’re trying to help the person imagine themselves in your home, so removing individual and personal touches to the home is actually encouraged.

However, I’m certain some personal touches will be overlooked by your realtor, depending on the target audience.

For example, I live smack dab in the middle of the bible belt: almost everyone is Christian. Therefore, I’m sure that a local realtor selling a house to a local family will probably overlook the cross hanging on the wall more than he would a pentacle.

April 22, 2010 at 10:35 am
(4) Shadowswish says:

When I was selling my house I went through the same thing. It’s hard but if you want to sell just pack it up. I used a chest so it was easy to get to.

April 22, 2010 at 7:28 pm
(5) Rowan says:

Having watched tons of shows on HGTV, the first thing they say is to depersonalize your home. All the photos need to be put away and you have to neutralize the paint colors. One of the worst colors you can choose is whites. It makes the house feel cold. Various shades of browns and tans are good. According to the shows you have to minimize your furniture too. Making lots of room for movement in your home and making it look large. If I were selling my house I would watch one of the shows on HGTV like Designing to Sell or The Unsellables. It would help a lot.

April 27, 2010 at 6:15 pm
(6) jo says:

Yes hide your pentacles and brooms:)you don’t want to scare away a potential buyer(times are tough.)They don’t need to know your beliefs anyway.Make sure the inside of the house is really clean and the yard as well-curb appeal means everything-it’s that first impression. Good luck

December 29, 2010 at 5:54 pm
(7) Laura says:

There’s one friend of mine who’s not Pagan, but who has a huge library of books and likes to sew. When she was trying to sell her house, she actually had people say to her, “We can’t move here, you read too much,” or “We can’t live here, you do too much crafty stuff.” No joke. She had to pack up most of her books and fabric stash before the place finally sold. It’s not about religion, it’s about salesmanship.

February 10, 2011 at 10:11 am
(8) jslou67 says:

Agree with all the above. In fact, when I read the question, I thought about how best to answer before even reading the response–and it was basically the same. :)

Good question though, since many people are trying to sell their homes right now. Thanks again, Patti!

February 10, 2011 at 11:43 am
(9) Adhara says:

I would not want my stuff to be viewed in a negative way. There is so much of that out there already and wouldn’t want my things to pick that up. I would agree to place it in a storage area. It is good advice, also since you are moving have you looked at other places what where your thoughts on their decor? What you are looking at there may help you see what people are looking for at your place. If that makes any sense.

February 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm
(10) Don108 says:

There is a saying, “If you’re not going to take your doctor’s advice, fire your doctor.” The same is true of your realtor. If you’re not going to take your realtor’s advice, you may as well fire your realtor and find one who will give you the answers you want to hear. Contrary to what the people here are saying, it is possible to sell your place without making your realtor’s suggested changes. Of course, it will probably take much longer and your house may sell for much less, but it will eventually sell. So if you can find a realtor willing to spend more time to make less money, you can stay as you are.

On the other hand, what are your goals? Are they to sell your house for a much as possible as quickly as possible or are they to declare your Paganism to the public? I would suggest doing what is necessary to follow your goals.

February 10, 2011 at 3:12 pm
(11) Chelsey says:

Realtors say the same thing to Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. As Patti said, it’s not being disrespectful. When people view a house, they want to be able to visualize THEIR stuff in it. That’s more difficult to do when an item that represents something as personal as your beliefs is sitting there on the coffee table. When you try to sell a home, you have to take down all of your personal items, be it a religious item, a photograph, or an afghan your mother knitted you. There are plenty of advice columns on the Internet (use Google–it’s your friend) and even television shows dedicated to this very thing (like Sell This House, which is on A&E). Good luck!

February 10, 2011 at 9:05 pm
(12) kat says:

remove all momentos. paint the walls white. if you have wood trim leave it natural. put in a nice plain sofa chair and kitchen grouping of three chairs. only thing on the walls, drapes. it will sell!

February 11, 2011 at 8:16 pm
(13) Shannon G says:

Your trying to sell your home not your beliefs. Make the place look like a swanky hotel and it will sell. In a terrible market I did just that and sold in days. Now I’m moving into my new home the cleansing has been done and the Alter is in place. The people with my old house can now enjoy their home while I enjoy mine.

February 15, 2011 at 12:03 pm
(14) Wynd says:

I agree with everybody, you want to imagine the house with your stuff, not someone elses, and for instance, say you are a huge animal rights activist, and a person had an animal head on the wall. This would effect your decision whether you realize it or not, your subconscious if not your conscious mind would be rejecting the space as well as the item.

By all means, make the space bright, airy, spacious and welcoming. And put away the personal items.

February 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm
(15) Persephone says:

A site of really bad listings: http://lovelylisting.icanhascheezburger.com/

These are houses that aren’t going to sell, or won’t sell for a long time. Listen to your realtor. Minimizing your presence means minimizing your stuff, all your stuff.

Personally, if I toured a home that was full of certain types of religious paraphernalia and books, I would hesitate. I would wonder what type of energy had built up in the home. Would I feel welcome? Would I have to cleanse and cleanse and cleanse again?

I don’t think you have to paint your home white or beige inside and out, but soft, earthy colors do help when selling your home. They make a nice background and they can feel soothing to buyers.

February 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm
(16) Adnyl Sylene says:

The word I would say works here is STERILIZE. You have to sterilize the house, so that others may “see” their belongings in the house. That’s usually how we find a place that suits our needs, we imagine seeing our furniture and personal touches here and there. Time to take everything down, pack it away, get it ready to move out, and cleanse the house. It may take awhile, but I believe in a portable altar anyway. Small enough to set up and take down in a matter of minutes if necessary. Save the fancy set up for your next home.

February 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm
(17) LazyWitch says:

Well said, Patti!!!

February 15, 2011 at 7:39 pm
(18) Camilla says:

Look at it this way…it is a way to start saying “goodbye” to the home you’ve lived in and practiced your religion in. Pack up your things in preparation for your next home! Get your “old” home sterilized and ready to go for its new owners and sever the tie you have to it so it is ready to be sold.

Never hurts to be prepared…

February 16, 2011 at 7:22 am
(19) Ashgreymane says:

Look at it this way: when you sell your house, you have to pack up your things anyway. This just gets part of that job done sooner.

February 16, 2011 at 8:26 am
(20) Tricia says:

I too am selling my house. I have a secretary with a door that folds down, alter goes away fast when they come to see the house. Also I have a really nice Tin Star on the wall, I live out west and they are very popular here. No one has to know it has more meaning to me. Put everything Away! Good Luck

February 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm
(21) Padyn says:

Just pack it and sell the house..selling is enough of a pain in the you know where..don’t make it more difficult on yourself with small details…I moved earlier this year..I packed my altar items about a year ago…I put together a small altar and ritual set that fits in a small bag…selling the home that you are no longer wanting is worth it…

March 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm
(22) Ever says:

It totally makes sense if you hide your religious items, because, as Patti said, someone might be kind of freaked out and not want to buy your house if they think you’re a Satanist.

February 21, 2012 at 8:47 am
(23) Meadowhawk says:

I agree with Patti and the other posters. I dont see this suggestion as any different than a 100 other things we do to sell our homes, including putting half of our belongings & furniture into storage!

If publicly displayed devotion is really an issue, I’m sure there is another avenue for that. Do what you have to do to sell the house.

February 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm
(24) Cyn says:

Listen to Patti and the group on this one. If you want to sell you must depersonalize your home. They buyer Needs to “imprint” on the house as their own. It may just be the economy, but it will help you tp make the home as neutral as possible. And baking a loaf of herb bread or cookies before the buyers show up is nice too. Best of luck and Blessed Be.

February 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm
(25) Eve-Lyn Green says:

Not only do I have to put my sacred things away, as an avid University of Oklahoma fan living in Texas, I have to put that stuff away too…….sigh….

February 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm
(26) Nikki Stone says:

Think of it this way…would you be in a huge hurry to buy a house that had an enormous, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” banner hanging outside, and crosses, Bibles, prayer beads, etc., littered all over inside? I know that we (Pagans, Wiccans, etc.) believe that we can cleanse and disperse the energy of a place, but it would still turn me off. Consider that very few Christians believe in their own power to cleanse a space, and you might see where he’s coming from. They are not only going to think they’re buying an “evil” house (ridiculous, yes, but we all know most of them think that way), but worse, will think that evil energy is there until the end of days.
Not to mention, if you begin to crate it up and visualize yourself in your new home, with the objects in their new space, you’ll be that much closer to getting in your new place!

February 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm
(27) Sea Shelly says:

We call it “de-cluttering your home”. As much as we like OUR personal items, that represent who we are, who our family is or was, the potential buyer needs to see your house in their mind, with THEIR life in it.
I de-cluttered my condo in CA, which was priced right for the area and it looked modern, clean and cute yet still didn’t sell. I decided to put a 10 inch Kuan Lin and a Buddha garden statue in tasteful places in the living room next to some lush house plants. Right after that an Asian couple from China made us a fair offer which we took. Think about the people who are looking in your area for your type of house and cater to them. Remember, why you are selling your place and go for it! Best of Luck to you!

February 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm
(28) LJRich says:

Let me ask everyone a question.

If you walked into a home that from the outside looked exactly like what you wanted to live in and on the inside was decorated with wall to wall crucifixes, Jesus figurines, signs that said “REPENT THOU SINNERS LEST YE BURN IN HELL!”, and just reeked of fundamentalism, would you buy it?

Do you like it when overly religious people shove their religions down your throats???

No, I’ll bet you that you don’t. Therefore it never ceases to amaze me that people on our side of the fence choose to do exactly the same things we condemn in Christians.

What the hell is the matter with people?! “I don’t think I should have to, I’m proud to be a Wiccan!” Yes, apparently you’re too proud, overly proud and and over abundance of pride isn’t a good thing, it’s a curse.

I wouldn’t even walk around a house that reeked of religion, ANY religion, for more than about 2 minutes and I danged sure wouldn’t buy one that did.

Wanna sell you house? Lose the attitude and put your religious crap away.

Signed,
A Pagan

February 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm
(29) ChrisTea says:

I understand and agree with what has been said about selling a home but I still don’t understand the mentality. If I found a cute house and the inside was packed with religious stuff or something I really didn’t like, what difference does it make? It’s not going to be there when I move in. That’s why I don’t understand the people who didn’t like the books and the crafty stuff … did they think that the owner would still be living with them? When my Mom retired and we were looking at houses in different cities, there were alot of homes which were horribly decorated or junk all over or the yard was really bad, but I could see those homes would be really cute when all that crap was gone, which (hopefully) it should be when you moved in. For me, it wouldn’t matter what was there when I looked at the house. I would be looking at the house itself. Sorry for the rant. I feel better now. :-)

February 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm
(30) watcherofspirits says:

It’s not just religious items. In selling our house we were told to board our pet cat and dog! You have to consider the buyer. Some buyers can imagine a flea epidemic where there’s never been one. Basically we were told put everything not needed for basic day to day living in storage, paint the walls a neutral white, eggshell or beige. Do everything possible to create that there’s lots of room in a neutral place waiting for you to make your mark on it. The one thing she did say would help was bake cookies or bread within the hour she was coming. Something about the homey smell of baking makes folks feel at home. So I bought those ready to bake ones and the kids loved the sudden surge of sweets they normally didn’t get. House sold in a week. Guess she knew what we were paying her for!

February 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm
(31) Lecia says:

Personally, I wouldn’t want the energy of the baneful stare of strangers all over my sacred artwork and magical items. That’s just mel

February 21, 2012 at 6:02 pm
(32) Lecia says:

Personally, I wouldn’t want the energy of the baneful stare of strangers all over my sacred artwork and magical items. That’s just me.

February 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm
(33) Sarah says:

Thank you for posting this. And thank you to everyone who commented. I am actually working on “decluttering” my condo right now to sell later this spring. Just today I was looking at my altar and really debating packing it away, as well as the few books I have left on my shelves. Having everyone confirm what I know I have to do (but really do not want to do) has really helped to ease my mind.

February 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm
(34) Dracul says:

I think this is interesting. However, in retrospect, it is a bit belittling of one’s beliefs. Most realtors won’t tell someone to hide their stuff if that stuff are things like pictures of Mother Mary and Jesus, books like Bibles and other Christian reading material, or crosses that are hung up. In essence, most realtors are biased as they might tell you to hide the witchy stuff, but say nothing about Christian articles.

February 21, 2012 at 9:46 pm
(35) Dracul says:

@LJRich
If the design of the house and layout was as I would like it, yes. It doesn’t matter what they put on the walls, I can envision how I would decorate no matter what’s up.

No, I don’t approve of religion-shoving. However, someone coming in as a potential buyer is still not the owner of the home, meaning they come of their own free will into what is still my own home.

While you may not want to buy a house that “reeked of religion”, it shows a narrow view. Not everyone has that same point of view, either. As I said, it wouldn’t matter what’s on the wall, even if the walls were painted some nasty puke neon green color (one of my most hated colors), I would still consider buying it as I could envision how I would want to decorate.

February 23, 2012 at 11:47 am
(36) Winter says:

When you get ready to sell your house it no longer belongs to you. It has to have all things that are personal to be removed. A potiential buyer needs to see themselve in the home and not you.

February 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm
(37) Lori says:

When you declutter, think of it as a spell. A ‘sell this house so I can get the house of my dreams’ spell.

February 16, 2013 at 8:46 am
(38) Wildebeest says:

Clean everything up, paint the walls white, bake bread and brew coffee and do a cleaning ritual. The house will sell. Even if you want to only sell it to other pagans, you can still screen the applicants. BB WB

February 16, 2013 at 5:59 pm
(39) Lori F - MN says:

Have you watched the home selling shows? People will pass over a house because of the color of the paint on the walls! YES. Clear out all the personal stuff. Including in the closets. Selling a house now is much too hard. Make it easier on yourself. The idea is to sell the house and make money. Personally if I were to sell my house – won’t happen in my time – i’d have to paint most of the rooms more neutral, remove half of the furniture in the livingroom and probably upgrade the kitchen appliances from white to stainless.

April 8, 2013 at 5:54 am
(40) Shaun says:

selling our house has never been easy, we have to face many problems when we want to sell our house we have to hire real estate agents on commission basis

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