Remove "Emotion" When Selling Your Home

Posted by Jeff Aughey on Monday, April 8th, 2013 at 11:26am.

Protect Your Nestegg and InvestmentOne of the most difficult aspects of putting your home up for sale is enduring the parade of people through your home who are on a mission to find fault with it. Before you become emotionally involved with the sales process, remember exactly what is happening when you put your home up for sale:

1. You are liquidating one of your biggest financial assets (probably THE biggest). 2. Buyers are investing their money in what will probably be their biggest financial asset. You can't afford to consider the house your "home" during the sales process - it is a product for sale. Expect buyers to be looking for any problems they can find. Identifying problems before making the decision to buy is a wise move. It's what you would do in the same situation. It makes fiscal sense.

Prepare Your Home Before Listing

You have probably tried to fix any outstanding issues with the house before putting it on the market, but if/when a problem is identified, you should offer to fix or financially compensate (by lowering your price) to cover that problem to any interested, qualified buyer. The goal is to sell your home, not to resent a buyer for their caution. Having a real estate agent will help you to keep emotions in check, but be sure to let your agent know that you have thick skin. You may have been willing to overlook certain "little things" about the house while living there. Don't be upset if a buyer is not. A real estate agent may advise you to make some changes to sell your home quicker and at a better price. Trust your agent to help you determine which items need to be addressed to offer the best return on your investment. Make sure the house is ready to sell before you put it on the market to shorten the time on the market, improve the number of buyers interested, and encourage multiple offers.

De-personalize It

Another way to help you and your family remove the emotion from the sales process is to remove your personal items from the house. Packing away your personal items will not only make it easier for potential buyers to imagine your house as their own-- it will also help you to see your home as a house. Removing family photos and painting the walls neutral colors, instead of the colors you had custom mixed, will also help you to maintain a healthy emotional distance from the dwelling. Make the house vanilla. De-personalization will make showing the house feel less like an invasion of privacy and make any negative comments or requests for changes seem less personal.

Inspection and Pricing

These are the two areas where buyers are most likely to become emotionally involved. During the inspection, it does not behoove you to become irrational or easily offended. Just because you have lived in the house a certain way for 10 years, doesn't mean it should be a problem if the inspector suggests something different. Even if you don't agree with the inspector's report, try to work out the suggestions if it's economically feasible. Remember: the buyer will be relying on the advice of the inspector as they make their own decisions about your house. Pricing is another "hot" area for seller emotions.  Getting right price the first time is imperative to a quick, easy sale. Getting the price wrong means the seller loses money (if it's too low) or loses value (if it languishes on the market without selling and buyers become wary of it). Many buyers are afraid to commit to an appropriate price. They say, "Well, we can market it at this price and a buyer can always offer less." This is not a good approach. Many buyers won't even look at the house because they can get a comparable home (that has been priced correctly) for less money. Others won't even inquire because they consider it to be out of their price range. A few qualified, potential buyers won't offer less than the asking price because they don't want to offend anyone. Don't be offended if an initial low offer surfaces, just counter offer. Usually, people are just testing the waters. Most will walk away after pitching a ridiculously low offer, but some may come back with an appropriate counter offer. Some buyers will make that second offer once they realize the house is not a steal. When its time to sell your home, disengage from the dwelling. Let your agent help you to keep your cool to sell your house and keep the drama to a minimum. If you want a little guidance to help you price your home appropriately and prepare it for a quick sale, call me. I can help you realize the investment in your home and help you find your next one!

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