The Emotional Stages of Selling Your Home

Selling your home is a big decision, and it can be very emotional. No matter whether you’re choosing to sell or having to sell, there can be a lot of emotions involved. Those emotions are normal. It’s also normal for the emotions to change over time and as you move through the various stages of a sale. Here’s a look at what to expect – and how I will help:


Stage 1: Getting Ready to List Your Home

Your emotions in this stage will probably be tied to the reason(s) you’re selling your home. Is your family growing with the addition of children (or even parents) to your household and you need more room? Are you relocating? Downsizing in preparation for retirement? Divorcing? You may be excited, sad, nostalgic – or all of these or none of these.

In Stage 1, I’m here to listen and to help you identify what you’re feeling as part of the process of getting ready to move forward.


Stage 2: Listing Your Home

Your eyes look at your home in a way that is unique to you. You know the special events that took place there and even why you arranged furniture the way you did. Putting your home “out there” for other people to judge can cause anxiety. It can also be tempting to become angry with people who don’t see your home the same way as you.

In Stage 2, my role will be to keep you remain focused on the future and the good things to come your way. I’ll help you deal with the emotions that come from watching buyers view your home as a commodity. When you become more comfortable with that, everything will become easier.


Stage 3: Reviewing Offers

Yay! You have some offers! But what if they’re not exactly what you’d hoped for? When this happens, it’s easy to take it sort of personally. Buyers simply want to get the best deal. So, yes, there may be buyers who try to lowball you or who point out what they see as flaws in your home to try to justify a lower price.

In Stage 3, I’m here to help you understand that it’s not about you. Buyers aren’t trying to offend you (even though some might). I’ll have loads of data – from comparable listings and sales, plus my years of experience in knowing how these negotiations go — to help you feel confident in the listing price and knowledgeable about your decision.


Stage 4: Under Contract/Negotiation

This can be a difficult stage, especially if inspection issues arise. You may start to worry that the buyer is trying to take advantage of you, or nervous that the purchase price will get nit-picked endlessly.

In Stage 4, I will listen and empathize. And then I will remind you that you always have options in regard to a buyer’s demands. We’ll review those options logically and rationally, keeping in mind that your goal is a successful sale.


Stage 5: Closing

This is the end of the home-selling process, but that doesn’t mean you’re 100% done with your former home. Along with the relief of knowing that the sale went through, you may also have some remaining sadness or nostalgia knowing that you won’t be living there any more. All of this can be mixed in with emotions related to what’s coming next in your life.

In Stage 5, I will celebrate this milestone with you and make sure everything is wrapped up properly to make it easier for you to move on to whatever is next. I’ll check in with you from time to time, and you can always reach out with questions.

See also: The Emotional Stages of Home Buying

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