Selling their home can feel like they’re cutting off their right arm for some sellers. They feel a sense of loss, and go on an emotional ride that takes them plummeting into the uncertainty of a move and another new home. Even if there’s excitement building about the new place, leaving behind their home and its memories can cause some turmoil.
While having deep emotions about the home you lived in, for a short or long while, is normal, it can cause a lot of trouble if you unleash your emotions during the process of the marketing and sale of your home.
Telling sellers to detach to sell their home is like telling the kid whose cat has a litter to stay emotionally reserved from the kittens. You lived in the house, cared for it, and now you’re being told to detach from it. Sure, some sellers are ready to take the leap into the new home and they couldn’t be any more detached. But especially families who have raised their children and watched many firsts happen in their home, stay a little more connected. These are the sellers that often put a greater value on their home simply because they have a strong emotional attachment.
Selling a home is a business transaction and likely the largest financial commitment many buyers will ever make. So understanding how to not get caught up in the emotional turmoil will help you keep your home as a real estate transaction, not an emotional roller coaster ride.
First make sure you price your home based on comps of other homes sold in the area. Sounds sensible but a lot of times, emotions come into play causing sellers to over price their home. Instead, turn to a reliable and expert real estate agent for advice and guidance. Pricing your home to sell is critical. Homes for sale usually get the most traffic in the first two weeks of being listed. If you price it too high, you’ll turn off potential buyers.
Often sellers base their home value on an emotional feeling they have about their beloved home or the fact that they paid top dollar for the home. However, in today’s market, a home that was purchased at the peak might not fully recoup that price.
Give buyers space. There’s a term for parents who tend to over-parent. It’s called helicopter parenting–appropriately named because these parents hover over their children and essentially smother them. This could apply to sellers who tend to linger while buyers are viewing their home. This makes buyers uneasy. Often they feel like they have to cut short their visit to the home. They don’t feel comfortable to talk openly about the things they like or don’t like about the home in the presence of the owners. The lesson here is don’t hover.
Consider all offers. Sometimes there is a tendency to turn away the initial offers because sellers think they might not be asking enough since the offers came in so quickly. Yes, it’s a catch-22. Sellers want to sell but when the early offers come they’re a bit uncertain. Be diligent and review all offers with your agent. You never know which one will be satisfactory until you see all of them.
Emotionally detach. Remember, when you’re selling your home it’s just a product to a potential buyer. They will see the things you loved about your home but they also will see the things they don’t love about it and they’ll share those things with their agent. So, it’s likely you’ll hear criticism about your home. They may criticize the very things you love. Here’s where you detach and let the criticism wash over you. If you need to take action, such as repairing something, do it. If it’s just a matter of opinion, don’t become emotionally caught up in it. This isn’t personal…it’s business. Sometimes that’s hard to remember because with real estate, the home we buy is, in the end, our personal sanctuary but at the time of the sale–it’s business. Keep the emotions out of it and detach to sell your home.
by Phoebe Chongchua