Preparing your home to sell can feel like a break up from a long term relationship. Your home is your single largest investment in your life, and you’ve created long-lasting memories in that home, just like you would in a long term relationship. Nobody is really prepared for the thought of, “Oh no, now I have to start all over.” Prepare yourself emotionally when the time comes to sell your home. Here are a few tips to consider to ease the process and help avoid becoming one of those emotional home sellers.
Do the Emotional Work Beforehand
Doing the emotional work before it’s time to sell is the best way to avoid regret. If you’re considering selling your home, at some point you’ve probably said, “My family has outgrown this house.” or “It would be great if our Great Dane could have a bigger yard.”
Start by looking at the flaws of what makes your home not the perfect home for you to stay. Preparing yourself to close this chapter in your life will enable you to focus on your future and determine how to remove your emotions from the selling process.
Consider taking these steps to begin detaching yourself from your home. This process will allow you to delve into your feelings of attachment as a way of finding closure.
Walk-through your home and revisit old memories.
Reflect on how the house has served its purpose for however long you lived there.
Talk about how you loved living here with your spouse, children, and family members.
Focus On the Future
Focusing your emotional energy on your next dream home will minimize the pangs of sadness that occurs during closing. While it’s easy to tell yourself you’re overreacting, getting past remorse is not a simple process. Working through your feelings early and recognizing what your future home can offer you that your present one cannot will make the selling process go over smoothly.
Make sure you’re ready to call it quits from a financial perspective
When you mix money and love, things get complicated. Feelings set aside, you need to figure out financials and the timing of this potential sale. Are you in a position to sell your home and purchase another, if so, is this the right time to sell? Once you have a ballpark figure for what your home would be worth in the current market, you’ll need to factor in expenses like home prep, repairs and agent commissions. When all is said and done, do you have enough money to pay off the mortgage and then some, ideally enough for a sizable down payment on the next house? Depending where you live, seasonality makes a big impact on the sale of your home.
Focus on the ‘Why’
What is your ‘Why’ for selling? Perhaps, you’re seeking a new lifestyle that apartment living can provide, you’d like to move to be closer to the grand-kids, or it’s time to trade up to allow your family room to breath. In any case a focus on your end goal makes it easier to harness your attention on the future and reframe your home sale as change (good change!) rather than loss. At that point, selling your home becomes an opportunity for you to take this new chapter of your life seriously.
Find a REALTOR® you can TRUST!
Choosing the right sales representative is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when selling your home. They will either add to your stress levels or relieve you of stress, so finding the right person is essential to your emotional and financial well-being. They are responsible for aggressively marketing your home, equipping you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions, negotiating your deal, and guarding your interests. They run both your offense and defense. It is imperative that you partner with someone who not only specializes in selling homes, but who has your best interests in mind.
Don’t Personalize the Staging of the Home
Staging is the opportunity for buyers to envision themselves living in your home. You’re proud of your family and your home so you might think it makes sense to populate your home’s decor with personal items and photos. But, this won’t help you sell your home any faster. It becomes a lot harder for your home to sell when potential buyers just see your family in the home. Stage the home using neutral decor and decorations and you’ll have better success selling.
Don’t Attend the Open House
You might think it would be nice if you were on hand during your home’s open house, but this is not advisable. When the seller is in the home during the open house, it makes the buyers less at ease, to the point where they usually hold onto their honest assessment of things. It’s better for you to leave the house than to stick around and risk being disappointed, offended, defensive, or pushy. The feedback your real estate agent gets from the open house visitors can provide you with the information you need to make the changes necessary to make your home more sellable.
Leave Emotions out of Negotiations
Another common place where emotions can turn up is during the negotiation process. This is the moment when a potential buyer will be pointing out problems with the home to get the price reduced. Since it is your home they’re talking about, it can be easy to take offense to their points.
Rather than argue their points, concede the concerns but mention certain features and attributes of the home that help validate its selling price. Keep a calm head, and chances are strong that you’ll eventually get to a place where both you and the buyer are satisfied.