Emotional Separation

Often one of the most difficult challenges facing sellers is how to separate emotionally from the house. And it’s the first thing sellers must do. But that’s not always easy, regardless of the reason for the sale. Sometimes reasons for a sale are unhappy, such as a death, divorce, or financial problems. Even a job transfer can be difficult for a family who is happy with their current home, town, schools, and friends. And sometimes even the ‘good’ reasons for a sale (such as moving to a larger home or a better neighborhood) aren’t enough to release some of the emotional issues surrounding the sale. So what are some of the signs sellers should be aware of that may indicate they are having trouble dealing with the sale on an emotional level? And what can they do about it?

First, if sellers aren’t willing to do the things necessary to prepare their houses for sale they may be facing emotions around the sale. While many of us are happy with the way we live in our homes, we understand not everyone lives the same way we do – or likes the same things we do. So when it’s time to prepare it for market, being prepared emotionally means being willing to change how we live in the house to make it appeal to a wider audience.

Part of preparing for sale is also pricing the house correctly. Sellers who aren’t willing to listen to the Realtor and who don’t pay close attention to the comps may be having trouble with emotional separation. And once the house is on the market, sellers who make the house difficult to show by never having a convenient time for showings, who refuse to leave the house when it’s being shown, or who make the house less than appealing during the showings may be having trouble with emotional separation.

If you see these signs in yourself or in sellers you are working with, understand there are things that can be done to help. First, if a family is involved, suggest a family meeting to discuss the move. During this meeting talk about the upcoming move – as well as the new location. If the seller is single, a trusted friend can be used as a sounding board. Share the issues and concerns about the move, as well as what may be positive about the change. Despite the reasons for the move, there will be things to look forward to in the new situation. Now is the time to focus on the positive side of the move, while acknowledging the difficulties that may be involved.

It is also helpful if the sellers begin thinking of their homes as houses. When the decision is made to sell, homes become commodities – something for sale. Rather than call it home, call it a house. And begin thinking of the ways to make this ‘product’ appeal to more buyers.

While selling a home can be difficult emotionally even under the best of circumstances, unless sellers are willing and able to reverse the selling decision, the only thing to do is sell. Be aware of when those negative emotions creep in, recognize them, then LET THEM GO. That is the only way to move forward, through the sale and into life beyond it.

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