Selling is Stressful – Learn 7 Insider Tricks to Make Selling Your Home as Painless as Possible
What’s more stressful than a job interview, public speaking, divorce or even losing a loved one?
A recent article on HousingWire.com (citing a Homes.com survey) has proclaimed that buying a home is “the most stressful event in modern life.”
In my opinion, however, selling a home can be even more stressful.
Why is selling a home so stressful?
- Emotions run high as homes are filled with years of memories and sales happen in times of life transition. You may be:
- Your home is often your largest asset which you have sunk your hard-earned money into and the sale price fetched can impact your future finances and ability to purchase your next home
- Prepping for Sale requires a huge amount of the amount of work, effort and money…keeping that perfectly prepped house the whole time you show it is not a piece of cake either!
However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Follow these Seller’s Tips to minimizing your stress and thrive through the process.
7 Tips for Surviving the Sale Process:
1. Shift perspective from “Homeowner” to “Home Seller”
Allow ample time to emotionally detach yourself from your home where your walls are memorialized in sharpie with your kids’ growth chart or painted your favorite shade of burnt orange. You are now selling a product. It can take a few months to separate your emotions, biases and expectations about the value of your home from reality. Removing this personal connection can be a painful process but it’s the key to an easier transaction with a better outcome. Remember you are selling a product that needs to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. Burnt orange is out, cool, warm, neutral tones are in.
2. Select a Realtor wisely
Who you choose can have a big impact on your emotional and financial well-being. Taking the time to find the best fit realtor who you trust to have your interests top of mind is imperative. A Realtor is similar to a project manager. Organization, efficiency and excellent communication skills are a must as are a thorough knowledge and familiarity with the market in your neighborhood. They should have a systematic pricing and marketing plan as well as resources to help you prep your home for the highest possible price. A realtor’s disposition is also important to keep in mind. A calm, level headed Realtor can minimize your stress level.
3. Put your best foot forward
First impressions matter – especially to prospective home buyers. View your home through today’s buyers’ lens and make it easy for buyers envision their perfect dream home when they walk through your door. This part can be the most labor intensive! It involves deep cleaning, fixing/upgrading, improving curb appeal, decluttering and staging. Clutter and loud, outdated decor are distractions for many buyers. You are now a” Home Seller” and it is no longer about you and your personal décor preferences. To appeal to the most buyers, create a space that is tasteful, clean, and neutral. This doesn’t mean you need to give your home a total remodel or spend a fortune on staging. A knowledgeable realtor understands what buyers want to see and can help you decide which investments in staging will return the biggest bang for your buck in staging dollars.
4. Price your home right
This is tough for some people to hear, but how quickly your home sells is, in part, up to you. Are you willing to price your home competitively during this stressful time? If you have decluttered and staged and are accepting all showings and your home still isn’t selling, it may be time to think about a price adjustment. The market sets the price of your home and homes that sit for longer than average days on the market are usually overpriced. It takes a knowledgeable Realtor with a deep understanding of the local market and current real estate trends to price your home correctly. Don’t settle for a Realtor who just tells you what you want to hear or who lacks local market insight and an aggressive strategy. Their expertise is critical to you achieving your goals and getting what your home is worth.
5. Leave your home every time there’s a showing
Staying out of the house during showings and open houses is best for everyone. Buyers will be more comfortable looking through your home while you are not there. They are evaluating your home as a potential investment, and most come in with preconceived ideas of what the home should be. No seller wants to hear criticisms of your home’s every flaw. Why risk being disappointed, offended, defensive, or pushy? In your absence, buyers will feel more comfortable exploring, speaking openly, and visualizing their life in the home without you hanging over their shoulder. Use this time to catch up with family and friends or even chill at the local coffee shop. The discomfort will be worth it when you close!
6. Be patient
Even low ball offers are good because it shows interest versus other homes on the market and allows your Realtor to have a meaningful discussion about the value of your home with other buyers’ Realtors. A few lowball offers doesn’t mean full or over-asking price offers won’t come in. Generating offers early in the process is a good thing and pricing based on the market will effectively draw multiple prospects and bids at the right price. Selling can take weeks, months or longer. Even if you have a contract, things like appraisals and mortgage lending can get in the way. It’s very common for frustration and worry to surface throughout the journey, especially if it’s lengthy. You will be calmer, if you expect the process to take longer than expected.
7. Let your agent do their job
You have done your job by finding and hiring the realtor with the expertise and knowledge to sell your home. Now it is time to get out of their way! Share your goals with your realtor, work together to build a game plan to achieve those goals, and then trust them to get the job done. Want to experience much less stress and thrive in the entire process? Buy into your Realtor’s strategy and have realistic expectations and patience. Trust the professionals you’ve hired to do their thing to ensure a faster sale and/or a higher price.
Just remember that every property sells when the price is right.
Please call me if you need help selling your home in Marin.