So…you are getting ready to sell your home, and you’re probably pretty excited, we get that.
But wait…not so fast!
Before you jump into it full throttle, there are a few things you need to know first, especially if you want to make it out alive!
What do you mean make it out alive? Is selling a home really all that?
Yes—but only if you’re not prepared for what lies ahead.
If you are like most people, selling your home and uprooting your life can be stressful, leaving you feeling anxious and unsettled. However, if you properly prepare yourself (and your family) for what lies ahead, it could mean the difference between a difficult venture or a fun and exciting time that leads to a new chapter of your life.
10 Must-Have Mental Preparation Tips for Selling Your Home
Here are 10 ways to prepare yourself for the home selling process and sail through it like a pro.
1. Getting into the Right Mindset
Before you go any further with the home selling process, it’s important to get into the right mindset. That means you and everyone else in your household.
It’s natural for you and your family to have at least some emotional attachment to your current home. You have probably lived there for years, making memories that will last a lifetime. Recognizing that and realizing that is the first step towards getting into the right mindset, which will help everyone involved move on.
OK, that’s great. But exactly how do you get into the right mindset?
- Talk to your family about your moving plans.
- Get everyone involved in as much of the decision-making process as possible. For example, looking at potential homes and neighborhoods, etc.
- Help your family envision the good things about your new home. For example, choosing the paint colors of their new room, that great pool in the backyard or the community pool/clubhouse/playground, the extra space you will have for that new treehouse or trampoline they’ve always wanted, etc.
Once you’ve accomplished all that, it’s time to move on to some mental preparation for the adults. This involves accepting the recommendations you will be receiving from your real estate agent and the stager about how you should present your home before putting it on the market. And while that doesn’t sound all that bad, most people aren’t prepared for what they are about to hear.
2. Handling the Stager’s Recommendations
Most of the recommendations your real estate agent and stager give you will make sense, and you probably won’t have a problem with them. However, there will be some you are probably not going to like. In fact, you might even be downright offended by some of the things they have to say. But this is the time to stay focused. You are trying to sell your house…right? And you are going to want to do everything possible to get a quick, top-dollar sale…right? So if that means removing all your family photos, painting over that beloved mural on your dining room wall, or packing up almost everything you are not using—then DO IT!
Remember, whatever it is your real estate agent and/or stager are recommending you do, they are only trying to do what’s in your best interest. So now is not the time to become offended.
3. You Have More “Stuff” Than You Think
You will be amazed at exactly how much “stuff” you actually have once you begin to box everything up. Prior to selling your home, take a good hard look at what you need and what you truly don’t. You are going to have to be brutally honest with yourself, as this can be a very difficult task. Make three piles. One for the keep pile, a second for charity (or to sell), and a third for trash. The rule is if you haven’t used an item within the last year, you probably don’t need it, so it’s time to get rid of it. Once it’s gone, you will probably never even think about it again and, therefore, will never miss it.
4. You Will Get Lowball Offers
People love to get a deal (don’t you?), and there are plenty of buyers who will present you with a lowball offer, especially if they think you’re desperate. Don’t allow yourself to be offended, and don’t immediately dismiss them, they are just trying to get the best price possible, and they won’t know how low you are willing to go if they don’t try. Simply counteroffer with something acceptable to you, then leave the ball in their court. If they don’t take the offer, you probably don’t want to deal with them anyway. Their loss! On to the next buyer—and there will be another buyer out there—GUARANTEED!
5. Negative Comments Aren’t Really Negative, and Here’s Why…
Every potential buyer is going to have their own vision of what they want to do with your home. That means you are going to hear all kinds of negative comments and receive loads of negative feedback about your home. For example, a potential buyer might say, “Look at that ugly chandelier!” or “What a hideous kitchen!” But you love that chandelier, and you had your kitchen custom designed. So what gives?
I’ll tell you what gives…
While it might seem as if that potential buyer is dissing your home, they’re probably not.
So what exactly are they doing, then?
They are throwing out what is commonly referred to as objections. OK, well, that still sounds like a bad thing.
Generally, an objection is merely a buying signal. Oftentimes, when someone is beginning to really like something, they will try to come up with as many negative issues as possible so they can rule that house as a keeper or a solid no. That’s where you and/or your real estate agent come in. Finding a real estate agent who is a pro at effectively handling those objections and turning them into positives is worth their weight in gold. Because they will recognize those objections as buying signals and turn them into positives so they can be used to your advantage.
What…you don’t believe me?
The next time you go to buy something, pay attention to your thought process and see if you don’t find yourself actively trying to find all the negative aspects of that item, then using those negatives to decide whether they are acceptable or not.
Anytime people are shopping for a high-dollar item or are wanting to invest in anything with a large price tag, they will usually try to prevent themselves from buying it until they are completely convinced they are doing the right thing. And that’s when the objection process starts, and that’s where it will end too—either with a yes or no. There’s no in-between.
6. Don’t Lose the Sale Over Something Simple
The sale of your home might be progressing rather smoothly, then suddenly, the buyer wants you to leave something you were planning on taking with you, like the curtains, fireplace mantel, or that custom chandelier you had made. Unless they are asking you to leave a family heirloom, let them have it. Whatever it is can probably be replaced. Besides, do you really want to lose the sale of your house over something that, if you think about it, doesn’t mean all that much to you? Probably not.
7. Your Renovations Might Not Be Worth What You Thought
Sellers often think the renovations they had done are worth more than they truly are, especially if they had something done that was renovated to suit their specific taste. Just because you love that window seat you had put in doesn’t mean your buyer will. Or, if you’ve performed renovations that put your home’s value much higher than the other homes in your neighborhood, you might not be able to recoup that money. Ask your real estate agent to help you assess your home’s renovations. Your agent can also give you a general idea of how much any given renovation will increase the price/value of your home or not.
8. People Might Not Be Respectful of Your Time
Agents and buyers are busy, so there will be times when issues arise after they’ve scheduled to look at your home. So— for whatever reason—they are late or don’t show up at all. This is just part of the process don’t take it personally. Alternatively, you will, on occasion, be asked to show your home at a moment’s notice. Don’t get frustrated or upset— get excited, this might be the one who buys your home. Just know ahead of time that you should be prepared to drop what you’re doing at a moment’s notice and leave your home for a while so the buyer’s agent can show it.
This leads us to the next issue…
9. Leaving Your Home While It’s Being Shown Is Inconvenient but Necessary
Yes, I realize it’s extremely inconvenient to leave your home every time a buyer wants to see it. However, the agent will have a much greater chance of selling your home if you’re not there. Many buyers will feel uncomfortable if the seller is present and, therefore, won’t be able to focus on picturing themselves living in your home or openly discussing their likes and dislikes about it.
Additionally, potential buyers will often rush through a home if the seller is there so they can politely get out of your way. This is because if you are there, your house will feel more like your house than their house, and that’s the last thing you want when you’re trying to sell your home. You want all buyers to be able to picture themselves living there. Therefore, it’s well worth the inconvenience of leaving your home for this relatively short amount of time, especially if it means making a sale!
That all sounds well and good, but how do I help potential buyers picture themselves living in my home, especially if all my things are there?
10. How to Help Potential Buyers Picture Themselves Living in Your Home
As a family, living in a home will always create memories. So the best way to help potential buyers picture themselves living in your home is to present them with things that will help them envision making memories in your home. For example, dress up your backyard, and make it an outdoor living space with a seating area. You could also add some colorful plants, a soothing waterfall fountain, and/or a firepit so buyers can see themselves roasting marshmallows, making S’mores, etc., while sitting around the fire enjoying time with family and friends.
I would bet just reading that had you picturing yourself doing the very same thing…right? So just imagine how looking at the real thing would make a potential buyer feel. Whatever you do to your home to help create memorable visuals, any given one of them might just be the thing that makes your home stand out above the rest.
Are you ready to sell your home?
Let’s do this!