I love rules, plain and simple. They serve a purpose whether it be ordering the chaos of a classroom, limiting screen time so that your teen is forced to think beyond the virtual battlefield on a daily basis or for merely driving from point A to point B safely. Having bought and sold a few houses over the years, I know that there are rules for selling a home as well. These include, but are not limited to, depersonalizing the space (packing away all your pictures/knick knacks so that the potential buyer can 'envision himself living here'), hiding any and all pet-related objects/toys/beds (some buyers are 'offended' by owner's pets...interestingly, I did not plan to sell my Phoebe along with my house) and clearing every countertop and dresser of all things remotely related to 'you.' Being the good, obedient rule follower that I am, I complied so that no one could accuse me of trying to sabotage any potential sale. Apparently, the sellers whose homes I have been viewing either did not get the Home Selling 101 memo or they chose to blatantly disregard it.
I do wish the couple with the 9 cats would have taken down all their kitty light switch covers (at least the 20 or so that I saw) and had changed the cat-themed linoleum ( did not even know this existed) in the bathroom to something more neutral. Granted, none of these changes would have changed my mind about buying that house, but it might stop other potential buyers from screaming and running from the home--and I did not bother to mention all the little kitty carriers lining the wall of the basement. Yikes! I know I would feel better as a buyer if there were a rule about finding a vacuum and learning how to use it before a showing and please, in the interest of a quick sale, fix the broken window panes before putting your house on the market.
I find selling a home to be one of life's most difficult things to do. You are putting yourself out there , so to speak, and someone else is passing judgement on your personal taste and letting you know what is wrong with it. While you are not supposed to take the rejection personally, I find it difficult not to. It is somewhat like speed dating with the buyers going from one house to the next and the sellers all hoping that they will be 'the one.'