Last Thursday night, the last of the Kirchhoefer daughters approached me when I got home from work to inform me that she was not going to her last period of school on Friday. I informed her that that information was incorrect; she absolutely was going to go to her last period of school. The rest of the conversation went as follows:

“Mom, I’m not going. My teacher hates me. I don’t even know what I ever did wrong. She hates everyone.”

“Honey, hate is a fairly strong word. I’m not buying it. Are you sure she isn’t just expecting more out of you then what you want to do?”

“No, Mom. She hates me. She stands in front of the class with her arms folded and this really salty look on her face and glares at us. We aren’t even talking or doing anything wrong. She is super cold and unpleasant (my word, not hers).”

“That’s great, honey. Because in this life, one thing I can assure you of is that you will have unpleasant people show up here and there and you have to be able to deal with them. This is a perfect opportunity to learn to do just that.”

She went downstairs and slammed the door. She did, however, attend her class the next day.

Most — if not all — of us, at some point in our lives, have had to deal with unapproachable and difficult people. Given the choice, however, most of us will not chose that ... I hope.

A couple of weeks ago, for example, I was at the airport in Las Vegas and the TSA dude demanding we take off our belts, shoes, earrings, necklaces, metal screws or prosthetics and put them in a SEPARATE bin was one of the most surly and unfriendly persons I have ever met. I may or may not have called him a name under my breath (yes, it made me feel better) and moved on as quickly as I could — after my security pat down that is, since I am always the one “randomly chosen” to be patted down. I didn’t stay there for one minute longer than needed. I certainly wasn’t going to choose to.

This is something to keep in mind when putting your home on the market. I highly recommend making the approach to the home as welcoming and inviting as possible. If a potential buyer, as well as their agent, drive up to a home that has a killer dog behind a chain link fence with a chewed-up “No Trespassing” sign hung on said fence followed up by a “Beware of Dog” warning in the window, there is little chance that anyone is actually going to make it past that point ... especially in one piece.

Also, if a potential buyer has to trudge through four feet of freshly fallen snow only to slip on the black ice at the doorway and then find that the key at the front door only works on the basement back door and only on warm days or days that don’t end in the letter “y,” there is little chance this particular buyer will be putting in an offer on said property.

These things may seem obvious. But apparently, they are not. These are all things I have seen with my own two eyes, in real life. Keep the walkways clear. Take the dogs and any other animals (snakes, turtles and sugar gliders not excluded) with you during showings. Put a welcome mat out. Make sure the key easily fits in the door. Remove the “No Trespassing” signs ... yes, all of them. Be sure the front gate is unlocked. Take the silhouette target outline of a human shape with a bullet hole through the center off your front door, and while we’re at it, take down the ground sign stating that “This home is protected by Smith & Wesson” and replace it with a professional Realtor sign panel that advertises that the home is “For Sale.”

Nobody wants Miss Trunchbull for a teacher. If given the choice, I would venture to say that her classroom would be devoid of students. Don’t let your home be unapproachable. My daughter would choose no school at all if she had a choice, rather than go to school with a porcupine teacher. Buyers, on the other hand, actually have a choice. They won’t choose it. If only I could choose the TSA staff.

Jen Kirchhoefer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or

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