A reader writes, "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 being a professional who is trying to sell your home for you. If that house sits on the market, unsold, your realtor isn't making any money. This is not about Pagan pride, your beliefs, or your personal feelings. It's about business, and if your home hasn’t sold, it's a good idea to look at what factors are making this the case. While I have no idea if your home hasn’t sold because you've got "that witch stuff" sitting out, I can definitely tell you it's not doing you any good to have it on display.
Ask any realtor, and they'll tell you that the less personal stuff you have on display, the better. That's because potential buyers want to look at a room and imagine their stuff in it. It's hard for them to do so if you've got forty pictures of your cat and your grandma's Hummel collection taking up every square inch of space.
As to spiritual stuff, no matter what religion a seller follows, realtors always advise you to put these things away. Our About.com Guide to Home Buying/Selling, Elizabeth Weintraub, tells me, "Anything personal has to go, and this includes religious things. Even something as simple as a Star of David or a crucifix could set off people -- and why alienate anybody?" (Read Elizabeth's tips on Preparing Your Home for Sale)
Now, in a perfect world, we'd like for people to not be judgmental of who we are, and for a buyer to walk in and fall in love with your home despite the giant pentacle you've hung on the front door. But in reality, that's not the way it works. Some people will be made uncomfortable by it, just like some people will be made uncomfortable by a giant velvet painting of Jesus or a collection of ceramic Buddhas.
So, while you may live openly as a Pagan or Wiccan, and you may be proud of your beliefs, selling your house is not about Pagan Pride. It's about business, and the last thing you want to do is put off some potential buyer because of what they see on your bookshelves. Your best bet is going to be boxing things up and putting them away, or better yet, putting them in a storage unit or at a friend's house for a while. Do what your realtor has asked, and make your house as generic as possible. Once you've sold your house and moved into a new place, you can put up all the Pagan stuff you like.