When it comes to pain and stress, selling your home ranks right up there with divorce and changing jobs. It doesn’t matter if you are selling your starter home or if you’ve been through this before, expect a lot of pain and frustration as you trudge through the process. And if you have a mortgage or a reverse mortgage on it, it will definitely make the process longer.
But take a deep breath and consider these six ways to help you reduce the pain when it’s time to sell your home.
1. Never hire a relative or friend to list your home.
Similar to starting and growing a business with a good friend or your brother-in-law, avoid this at all costs. There is just too much at stake and you shouldn’t have to be “PC” during the long selling process. The journey from listing to closing is tough enough without adding more tension into the equation.
Since you are paying this person to sell your home, you have every right to certain expectations and requirements. You are entering into a business arrangement that by its nature needs to be impersonal.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
Whatever you do, don’t get emotionally involved. It’s easy to say, but remaining objective will save you days and nights of turmoil with issues like:
- You think your home should be listed at X, but your realtor tells you that it’s not a competitive price and it should be Y which is $20,000 less. Get over it.
- Your first offer is extremely low. Don’t get insulted and emotional. Use it as an opportunity to negotiate conveying to the buyer that you don’t consider it a serious offer.
- Don’t let negative comments about your choice of floor coverings or paint colors bother you.
It is, after all, a business transaction, so treat it as such.
3. Ignore election year pessimism.
This is an election year, and history shows election years bring instability. According to Forbes a survey predicts that election year pessimism will hurt the housing market and may make it harder to sell your home.
Combine that with the results of the Brexit vote and you have a situation that breeds unpredictability and uncertainly. Buying, selling and lending just got a lot risker, according to another article from Forbes, "Brexit Hits Home."
The good news is loans may get cheaper, but for sellers it may mean that homes stay on the market longer and take longer to close.
Homes are still in demand so maintain a positive attitude during these uncertain times. No one can see into the future and ultimately it is about how consumers deal with the uncertainly.
4. Plan along vacation.
If this sounds counter-intuitive, you might want to think again. In fact, take that vacation as soon as you list your home. Your family will be thrilled if you go on vacation, as will your realtor.
If you are not living there, a realtor can schedule open houses and showings whenever they want. You don’t have to drop everything to get out of the house for an unexpected showing. You know, the ones that occur early in the morning when the beds aren’t made yet or during the dinner hour. Biggest bonus: the house stays clean.
Most real estate agents believe they could sell your home easier if you just got out of the way, so do it.
5. Investigate alternate selling options.
Who says you still have to sell your home the same way your parents did? New real estate companies allow you to skip the stress of a traditional real estate transaction altogether and retire the real estate agent. As example, take a look at a new home buying service like OfferPad. Instead of waiting for a buyer to come to you, they buy your home directly, so you can be sold whenever you are ready.
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There are countless home buying websites like that today. They position their service as "real estate reinvented," cutting out all the traditional fluff so you can move on your own schedule. This type of option may not work for all sellers, but this may be a great solution for anyone who values their time and stress levels.
6. Accept the inevitable.
Any disruption in our routine causes stress, and moving certainly qualifies as a disruption, says HealthStatus. In fact, it is one of life’s top five stressful situations. The longer your house is on the market, the more disruption, accumulated pain and fatigue you will endure. On average it takes 76 days to sell a home.
So accept the facts. The next few months will consist of daily disruptions.
After you’ve spruced up the front yard to improve curb appeal, fixed leaks and repainted a few rooms, here come all the strangers walking through your home at all hours of the day and night. Open houses and last minute showings are all part of the process so just accept the inevitable status quo.
Think ahead to the end of the tunnel and visualize closing day. Or maybe try yoga.