Selling your first home can elicit powerful emotions of nostalgia, loss and stress. The average homeowner lives in their home for 13 years, which is plenty of time to create positive memories. Saying goodbye to your home is understandably difficult, but it is essential to leave emotions aside during the listing and selling process. Mistakes due to emotional decisions can cost you thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
Follow these five tips if you are selling your first home and need to manage your emotional response to the sale. From looking to the future and envisioning your dream home to accepting the emotions connected to selling your home, these tips can help you keep your rational side in charge when it’s time to sell.
Table of Contents
1. Indulge in Your Memories
Before you start focusing on your future home, it is vital to have an emotional goodbye to your current home. You could be moving to your dream home in Wild Dunes or Isle of Palms, Charleston, but you risk unresolved emotions affecting the sale if you do not properly say goodbye to your current home.
Indulging in nostalgic memories of past experiences in your home can reduce anxiety about selling the home. Nostalgia is shown to induce feelings of ambivalence when you have other conflicting emotions. So, when you feel both certain about needing to move but uncertain about where or how, emotional ambivalence can help you cope and make rational decisions through the situation. Since nostalgia elicits ambivalence, it is a good idea to recount your home’s best memories.
Walk around your home before you start packing and take photos. Taking photos is shown to make people more reflective in a positive light. Plus, it will be nice to look back at these pictures in future years. Once you have indulged in your memories of your first home, you will be ready to start the selling process.
2. Reframe with Your Reasons for Selling
Once you are done saying goodbye to your home and its memories, try to reaffirm your reasons for selling and moving out of your first home. Maybe it is to relocate for a better job or get more room for an addition to the family.
No matter your reason, reframing your mind by focusing on the reasons you’re moving helps change your emotions from being sad about leaving to excited about the future. If you are struggling to think about all the positives of your move, write them down.
Writing the positives of the move is an excellent coping strategy because you create a physical reminder of why you’re moving. Place it on your bathroom mirror or fridge so you can check it any time you feel emotional and need a reminder.
The main reason for the move may be apparent, but the smaller benefits, such as new local restaurants and parks, might be enough to convince you that moving is definitely for the better. The reasons for your move may not always make you feel better, but it should make you resolute in your actions that lead to selling your home.
3. Accept the Process Will be Stressful
Accepting the stress and negative emotions connected with selling your first home helps keep them from affecting the sale process. Studies have shown that acceptance of mental experiences, such as stress or sadness, improves short-term and long-term mental health.
When experiencing negative emotions, it is natural to judge them as wrong or bad and strive to alter them. From the beginning of your home-selling process, try to accept the negative emotions as a natural part of this process rather than trying to avoid them.
Trying to repress negative emotions doesn’t work and can lead to further mental anguish. Accepting your feelings can help you resolve them faster. Allow yourself to feel stressed or sad about selling your first home and recognize that these feelings will pass with time. This mental attitude toward painful emotions will set you up to make smart decisions during the selling process.
4. Start Packing Boxes Early
Packing moving boxes early in the home-selling process does more than give you a headstart on your packing. Packing away photos and other personal features of your first home transitions the house from your home to a product.
During other parts of the selling process, like meetings with your realtor, you will have fewer emotional triggers telling you not to move. Instead, you will see packed boxes that prime your mind for the move. Plus, getting started early gives you time to pack slowly, which is ideal when packing away emotionally latent objects like family photos.
5. Think of Your Home as a Product
As you get ready to stage your home and list it, you need to think of your home as a product. Although you may have spent time carefully designing your home’s interior, you should follow your realtor’s advice when it comes to staging your home. Realtors know more about what home features appeal to buyers and have more experience making homes into highly sellable products.
Thinking of your home as a product is especially important when setting your listing price. If you value your house too high because of your emotional connections to it, you risk it sitting on the market for too long. Take the realtor’s advice and list your home at market value.
Be Ready for New Memories in a New Home
While the emotions of selling your first home are likely to be intense and occur frequently, the new memories and positive emotions you’ll have in your new home will make it all worth it.
Whether you are relocating to Isle of Palms real estate or just down the street to a home that fits your needs better, remind yourself you are making the right choice. Preventing your emotions from affecting the selling process can promote better mental health and ensure you get a fair price for your home.