By Brendon DeSimone
Like many people, you probably have a deep emotional connection to your home. Your kids grew up in your house; you can still see the pencil marks you made on the door frame marking their growth. You’ve spent many happy hours on the backyard patio. The dining room has been the setting for many great dinner parties. Maybe you even grew up in the house yourself, and it’s been in your family for over fifty years.
You’re fortunate to have had so many good memories. But beware: When it comes time to sell, a “love affair” with your home can work against you. Too often, people make decisions about selling their home based on emotion instead of reason.
What they’re really doing is subconsciously sabotaging their chances for success — and that can cost them money in the end. Here are 3 tips for detaching and moving on so you can get the best deal for your home.
1. Acknowledge that selling your home can be stressful.
Some people get emotionally attached to their cars and have a hard time selling them. To get an idea of what it will be like to sell your home, magnify that reaction by about 100 times.
Those who’ve been in their home just a few years are likely to have an easier time letting go than those who’ve lived there for decades or grew up in the house. Either way, it’s often stressful and emotional. Acknowledging that up front will help you make better decisions down the road.
2. Make sure you're truly ready to sell.
Take the time to ensure you’re emotionally prepared for the sale. Talk to your real estate agent and listen carefully to their suggestions. If you’ve hired a competent agent and yet you’re resisting their suggestions, that’s a clue you may not be ready to let go. If so, don’t sell just yet. Wait until you’re ready.
Maybe you have no choice but to sell — which can be even more difficult emotionally. Get as much support as you can from friends and family. Be honest with your real estate agent about how difficult this is for you. The more information you give the agent, the more they can work around any potential problems.
After all, your agent is looking out for your best interests and acting on the assumption you want to sell. But when you resist their suggestions because you’re actually not ready to sell, you’re setting up the relationship to fail. This is a common source of strain in the agent-client relationship, and savvy agents are on the lookout for this — or should be.
3. Start thinking of your home as a product to be marketed.
When you haven’t detached from your home, it’s difficult to see it as a product. But that’s what it is — something you have to sell and that, with luck, others will want to buy. You can also get in your own way of succeeding.
Often, a seller who isn’t emotionally ready to sell will insist on listing at a price that’s higher than what the market will bear. This is why it’s imperative that sellers should be emotionally ready to sell; when they aren’t, they can subconsciously sabotage the process. There have been instances where a home was on and off the market for over a year with multiple real estate agents and approaches to selling it. What started off as an overpriced home that didn’t show well ended up selling for a bargain to a buyer who capitalized on the seller’s mistakes.