The Emotional Side of Selling a House

If you’re in the process of selling your house, you’re probably thinking about all the steps required to prepare a property for sale. And, of course, how to achieve a quick sale at the best price. But what you might not have considered is the emotional toll that selling a house can take, whether it’s your own or that of a deceased loved one. Let’s explore what you can expect during this process and how to prepare for the inevitable emotions that accompany the sale.

Your House is a Treasure Trove of Memories

When you’ve lived in a house for a long time, it’s natural to associate its rooms with cherished memories. Perhaps the balcony was where you celebrated your first wedding anniversary, or the kitchen was witness to your daughter’s first steps. And if the house is an inheritance from a loved one who’s no longer with you, it will undoubtedly bring back a flood of memories as soon as you walk through the door. Selling a property can be considered a type of mourning: you’re leaving behind a significant part of your life never to return. Sometimes the feeling of loss can surprise you with its intensity.

Prepare your House, Prepare Yourself

It’s never a good idea to put your house on the market without first making it look its best to potential buyers. The best way to do this is with home staging: an aspirational marketing technique that depersonalises and markets your house to make it stand out from the rest. Homes presented in a minimalist way, without the previous owners’ personal items, allow potential buyers to visualise themselves living there. And here lies the key, not only to a successful sale but also to emotionally preparing yourself before selling your house. With home staging, you can start to see your house not as your home but as a product to sell.

As part of the service, your home staging professional will advise you on what items and/or furniture need to be removed from the house before staging. It’s important to distance yourself from any emotional reactions to their suggestions. In fact, this “decluttering” is a good way to start the moving process or to get rid of things you no longer want to keep. In her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” organisational consultant Marie Kondo advises keeping only the belongings that “spark joy.” For the rest, you thank them for their use and dispose of them. Following this method, you’ll discover what things are truly important and hopefully avoid feeling overwhelmed in the process.

Old Fashioned Doesn’t Sell

The vast majority of buyers looking for a new home DON’T want a project. A home renovation involves a significant investment of time, money, and effort that most would prefer to avoid, even if the initial purchase price is cheaper. Older or outdated houses tend to be overlooked on property portals. But worse still, they can make potential buyers wary if they suspect there might be more hidden problems. If the house hasn’t been decorated or updated in years, what other types of maintenance might be lacking?

If your house is decorated to your taste, it might be hurtful to hear a home stager suggest changing the wall colours, getting rid of certain furniture, or updating the flooring. Remember, it’s not a comment on your taste or lack thereof! Of course, you like the colours, furniture, and flooring you chose. You chose them for your enjoyment and probably took delight in decorating the house to your style. But fashions change, and everyone’s tastes are different. The home staging technique aims to present properties in a way that appeals to everyone, in line with current trends. A modern and bright house sells faster and at a higher price. Considering the potential gains, isn’t it worth trying to emotionally distance yourself and follow the advice of a real estate marketing expert?

Many people, though initially reluctant, feel a sense of freedom when they see the results of home staging in their house. Suddenly their home looks like new, and the professional photos look like they’re straight out of an interior design magazine! The house, now depersonalised, no longer holds the same story as before, and this goes a long way to help achieve emotional closure before finalising the sale.

Selling your home is a complicated process full of emotions. But if you prepare yourself while preparing your house for sale, you can start the next chapter of your life with all the excitement it deserves.