Owning a house is like ‘being in a long-term relationship’, so it can be hard to break up!
I believe that relationships are more important than transactions. I started a career in real estate in 2006 with REMAX Crown Real Estate In Regina, and since that time, I have built a Regina real estate business around that philosophy. My goal is a personalized one-on-one service to fully understand you and your real estate goals and to be 100% accountable to you. In my latest blog post, I acknowledge that selling a home you love is NOT easy.
Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do!
So goes the famous Neil Sedaka song... and sometimes that is the truth!
You grew up in that home, or you raised your own family inside those four walls, so when it’s time to move on, downsize or sell for a multitude of reasons, it can very hard emotionally to let go!
Another reason why a breakup with your home is hard to go through can be explained by the Endowment Effect. This economic theory finds that people overvalue what they already own. They are comfortable with the status quo and feel threatened by change and the unfamiliar, which makes losing or parting from what they have particularly difficult. Now, they believe that their loss is more than it actually is.
Sure, this house was perfect, but the home selling and buying process isn’t finding “the one” that sticks around forever. It’s more about finding the home that fits your needs best based on your current situation. That gets easier if you can feel good about your next decision and give yourself closure over the past—so let’s dive into 5 tips to help you work through it.
Tip #1: Make sure you’re ready to ' FOLD It' from a financial perspective
When you mix money and love, things get complicated. Just ask the 1 in 5 partners who choose to keep their finances separate. Applying this division of church and state to selling the house can suck some of the emotion out of the process.
Above how you feel about the selling situation, you need to figure out the hard financials and timing of this sale. Can you afford to sell this home and buy another, and is now the time to do it?
You can start by getting a ballpark figure for what your home would go for in the current market. Then, factor in your expenses like home prep, repairs, and agent commissions. Make sure that after you sell the house, you’ll have enough money to pay off the mortgage and then some, ideally enough for a sizable down payment on the next house.
Then, find out if it’s the best time to sell your home in your market. Depending on where you live, seasonality makes a big impact—in fact, data shows that selling at an opportune moment can help you increase your profits significantly.
Similar to a relationship break-up, selling a home shouldn’t be a rash, spur of the moment decision.
Tip#2: Reframe your mindset to focus on your ‘Why’
The first question I ask my seller clients is, “Why Are you Selling?”
Maybe you crave the carefree lifestyle that apartment/ condo living can provide, perhaps you want to move to be closer to the grandkids, or maybe you have to buy somewhere bigger to give your family more breathing room.
Focusing on the logic of your reason and your why, makes it easier to harness your attention to the future. Reframe your home sale as change (good change!) rather than loss. Then, selling your house becomes an opportunity for you to move on to a different chapter of your life.
Tip #3: Keep living your best life BUT keep on keeping up with the Jones's
The last thing you want to do after you decide to sell your house is to wallow in regrets and neglect home selling responsibilities.
Oftentimes, home sellers are also buyers, so their home purchase is contingent on their home sale. You must make sure that your home looks it's best. Then, take steps to detach from what you used to call your home. Trust your real estate agent and start the staging process. See how furniture works in different arrangements, change up the decor, and paint the walls neutral colors to begin depersonalizing the house without giving yourself whiplash. - you can find some helpful tips on curating curb appeal in the Regina real estate article I wrote about Selling A Home in A Slow Market
Once you have put effort into making the property look it's very best, you can channel your emotions and efforts toward figuring out what your future will look like, in terms of the house and your new neighborhood. That way, your next home becomes a productive distraction that will help you get over the initial home sale.
Be sure to keep up with maintenance and to work with your realtor to get the best price for both your existing property AND the new one!
Tip #4: Do the Emotional work
So, when you sell your house, don’t be afraid to:
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.
This type of processing helps you to accept your emotions throughout the home sale. If you want to keep a snapshot of the home, take photos and use those as emotional anchors for you to look back on in the future.
It is healthy to mourn a loss!
Tip #5: Get proper closure
When selling a house, you don’t want to walk away with unfinished business or bitterness. You might not be emotionally prepared for the change, but don’t demand buyers to overpay for your home or leave the home in a sloppy state. Be respectful to the next set of homeowners, and take the time to get everything in shipshape for the final walkthrough.
A proper goodbye can also include a “house-cooling party” that lets you invite friends and family to your home for one last time before handing over the keys. Those who are important to you also have a chance to say goodbye to you and the home. Just don't go crazy, as the last thing you want is wine stains on those newly cleaned carpets!
Ready to sell the house you love? Partner up with me, I’m a top Regina RE/MAX Agent, and as an experienced Regina REALTOR® I can support you by inserting a degree of professional separation.
If you are looking for a Regina Realtor who works tirelessly on your behalf and always offers honest and candid advice, I will be an expert at your side. I am a Trusted Regina Realtor and a REMAX Crown Real Estate Agent