Selling your home can stir up a range of emotions. Many don’t realize when it’s happening to them. While you may feel excited about the opportunity to move into a new house and get a fresh start, you may also experience feelings of sadness or loss. Your reactions may surprise you. Stress is usually brought on by changes in routine and familiarity. According to the Zillow Group 2019 Consumer Housing Trends, 95% of home sellers are stressed by some aspect of the process. It is a big deal. The question is how to handle these strong powerful emotions at a time when you need to make big decisions for you and your family. Firstly, it’s important to remember that these feelings are natural. It’s also good to know that there are tools on how to cope during this time. I’ve been reading of articles and have put together a list of my favorites. Here are my 5 tips on how to handle your emotions when selling.
1. Concentrate on the Future
If emotions of selling overwhelm you, it’s important to remember WHY you’re selling your home. Whether you want to downsize to adjust to a new family life or upsize for a growing family, make sure you are ready. Create and write down a list of reasons to reassure you that you made the right decision. Do this early in the process and look over your notes when doubts start to creep in. By concentrating on the future, your will create positive feelings of what is to come after your home sale is final. If you already have a new home to look forward to, keep photos nearby and imagine all the new memories you will create. Also start planning projects you’d like to tackle or how you are going to decorate your new home.
2. Trust your Real Estate Agent
The right agent will make all the difference. Remember that they are being paid to take much of the hassle and burden off you. Allow them to do their job by paying attention to their advice to come up with the most suitable game plan for you.
Be sure to spend time going through the steps of selling a home and ask lots of questions. If repairs are needed to increase your sale price, get them done all at the same time to avoid more disruption to the family. Review how long each step will take and plan accordingly.
This also includes listing your home at the right price to get your home under contract as quickly as possible. There is no way to get around people touring your home so at least try to reduce this time but trusting your agent to do what is necessary to get your home sold fast.
If you have concerns, voice them to your agent. The right agent will help you to feel less anxious by maintaining a high level of communication throughout the process. Choosing the right agent early will help you through this difficult time. Take time to interview them and establish a good repertoire and feelings of trust.
3. Practice Self Care
During home sales, it’s normal that there will be disruption to normal schedules and routines. At the same time, i’s important to keep as many routines as you can. This will help you to handle stress better. Many may begin to skip workouts; others may start buying fast food more even before the packing up begins. Don’t fall into this trap. It will only hurt you in the long run. When going through major life changes, your health will become even more important. Eating a balanced diet and exercising will help to see your get through the move. Also use relaxation techniques such as breathing and listening to music during difficult times.
As much as possible, keep as many routines as possible. If you usually take long walks at the end of the day, then continue. If you usually like curling up with a book on the weekends, then keep doing that too. It’s also worthwhile that as schedules change to make up for losses with a little pampering. Consider treating yourself to a long tub bath or a massage. Take breaks when you start to feel tense or go see a movie. These little perks are rewards for you handling such an overwhelming process so well. Set deadlines for getting things done and then do something nice for yourself. Remind yourself that this is a difficult time but “you’ve got this”.
4. Distance Yourself from the Process
Good agents will also advise you on “decluttering” your home. This is a part of getting ready for your sale and may include staging as well. To learn more, see my article on Getting Ready to Sell. The purpose is to have buyers tour your home and see themselves living there. As much as possible, they will not want reminders that this home belongs to someone else. Additionally, buyers often associate how a home shows with how well the house was maintained. Trust your agent when they ask you to put in the work of decluttering, removing personal items, and making changes to your home. While it may be difficult to go through memorabilia of living there, the end result will be a “depersonalized” home. Once your personal photos and such are boxed up, it will be easier for you to get involved in the process and not be too emotional.
You should also plan to leave your home during showings to avoid making buyers feel uneasy or pressured. Sticking around the home will cause you more stress as you try to figure out what buyers are thinking or whether they are judging you. Plan to take drives or visit with friends. Have a plan of what you will do during the times you must leave the home. Additionally, some homebuyers may say upsetting things about your home. You don’t need to get involved. Your agent will get feedback from the buyers and let you know if additional repairs or changes to your home need to be made. Also know that once you find a buyer, they may request repairs. There is no need to take this personally. This is all part of the negotiation process. Remember that the goal is to sell your home so you can move on to the next chapter in your life.
5. Establish Worse Case Scenarios
When you go through the steps of home selling, take time to establish worse case scenarios. Get an idea on what your net profit will be depending on different sale prices and plan accordingly. Establish a bottom line and also consider your options if you don’t get the amount you want. It’s best to think through these scenarios soon rather than later so the stress is not as great. The same holds true to closing dates and how long home repairs may take.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your realtor, your family, and your friends. This could mean getting friends to help you box up personal items or keep your company when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Once you’ve imagined the worse and come up with possible solutions, you realize what NOT a big deal it is. For example, if you need to buy a new home after going under contract on your current home, do all the research of renting or moving in with family beforehand. That way, if you can’t find a new home before closing, you have options ready to go.
Selling a home is a stressful life event that starts when you are thinking of selling your home. It doesn’t end until after you have closed, have money in the bank and have moved out. During this time, it’s important to remember these tips on how to handle emotions when selling.