4 Tips to Emotionally Detach From Your Home so You Can Sell It

Selling your home can be an emotional roller coaster.  Here's what you can do to avoid letting your emotions get in the way of a speedy sale.

Like many people, you probably have a deep emotional connection to your home. Your kids grew up in your house and you’ve spent many happy hours on the back patio or celebrating holidays in the living room. Maybe you even grew up in the house yourself.

You’re fortunate to have had so many good memories. But beware that emotional attachment can hinder your home sale.  Here are 4 tips for detaching and moving on so you can sell quickly, for top-dollar.

1. Acknowledge that selling your home can be stressful.

Even when everything goes according to plan, the process of selling and moving is stressful.  It's a process that most people endure once, if not many, times throughout life.

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 the situation and the stress that can come with it as a part of the process of your chosen life will keep you grounded as you move forward.

2. Focus on your desired outcome. 

You may be selling to downsize or to relocate to be closer to family or a new job.  Or, maybe you're selling so that you can move into a more desirable area or better school district.  Whatever the reason, the sale of your current home will make way for your desired outcome.  Clearly defining what your next step in life will be will focus your attention forward rather than dwelling where you're at currently. So, i f you haven't already, define your next step.

When you've located your next home, get familiar with the details and plan the small home improvements you may be making before you move in.  Consider which spaces in your next home will be used for the various activities you enjoy.  When you're unsure of the exact home you will be moving to, make a list of all of the features you want in your next home or spend time researching the ins and outs of the neighborhood or city where you intend to move.  Paint a picture in your mind of what the day-to-day will look like in your next home so that you're clear on your direction and why you're going through the hard work of selling and moving.

3. Start thinking of your home as a beautifully packaged product.

To buyers, your house is just one fish in an ocean of homes for sale.  When you haven’t detached from your home, it’s difficult to see it as "just another house" or, a product. But that’s what it is — something you have to sell, that if positioned right, others will want to buy. 

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, subconsciously sabotaging the sale. Overpriced homes can go for months, even years, on and off the market, with multiple real estate agents and approaches to selling. What began as an overpriced home can end up selling for a bargain to a buyer who capitalizes on the mistake of a seller who couldn't detach.

4. Use Staging to depersonalize and attract a buyer.

Staging your home right away is not only a good way to attract a buyer but also a therapeutic way of detaching from your home. By decluttering and removing the personal things in your house that make the place familiar to you, you can begin to better accept and even enjoy selling your home. Make it a point to change the decor and aspect of different areas so that it is less personal and more attractive.

☝️ ** Designer Tip: Staging and Interior Design are two different things.  Interior Design is the way you live in your home that's personal to you.  It's your furnishings, decorations, and personal belongings arranged and used in a way that appeals to only you.  Staging is the way you decorate your home to appeal to the masses so that you can more easily attract a buyer. 

Aside from helping to show your home in its best light, removing personal items begins to make your house feel less like your home and more like a “product” for sale. It’s a subtle but important step toward detaching. Also, by removing personal items and decluttering, you’re getting a head start on moving.

A professional home stager can recommend changes to make your home more attractive to buyers. The bright orange paint in the den and the wild jungle wallpaper in the dining room should make way for something more neutral.  Lightening, brightening, and decluttering each space is recommended by staging professionals.  And, often the stager will point out minor interior or exterior improvements that will make a big difference in the sale-ability of your home.

For staging advice custom to your home, go here to WORK WITH ME.  Or, consider these Staging How-To resources helpful to many sellers: 

Still not ready? Wait.

If you find that you can’t do any of these, then wait until you’re ready. In the long run, the most important thing is that you put your best foot forward when you list your home because it will be in your best interests financially, even if it means waiting months or years until you’re ready. 

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