Selling a home is a significant life event and it can bring with it a mix of emotions. It means you’re moving on to a new chapter in your life, but it also means you have to let go of somewhere that has been your sanctuary for years. The home likely holds hundreds of memories, both good and bad.
If you feel emotional when you consider selling your home or find your emotions overwhelming as you go through the process, you’re not alone. It’s important to be kind to yourself and acknowledge that uncomfortable emotions are going to come up throughout the process.
Whether you’re downsizing, relocating, or selling for financial reasons, we’ll share some insights and tips to help you navigate this time in your life.
How to Deal with the Emotional Effects of Selling Your Home
Acknowledge your feelings
The first step is to acknowledge that selling a home you lived in, whether you’ll be glad or sorry to leave it behind, is an emotional process. Selling a property can be stressful even if you have no emotional attachment simply because so many aspects of the process feel out of your control, so selling one you have loved can intensify those feelings. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling excited one day and distraught the next.
If you have unpleasant feelings, don’t be afraid to look them in the eye. For example, it’s common to feel guilt, shame, inadequacy, and in some situations, anger. Know you’re not alone if:
- You feel guilty that you are selling the home when it belonged to your parent/partner and they wanted you to have it
- You feel shame that the house isn’t in the condition you hoped it would be
- You feel inadequate because you can’t afford the home or can’t afford the standard of house you hoped to upgrade to
- You’re angry because circumstances are forcing you to sell when you would prefer to stay (such as divorce, finances, job relocation, etc)
- You feel disappointed because the home isn’t selling for as much as you hoped or you haven’t paid as much of it off as you’d hoped to when you bought it
- You feel anxious that no one else will want your home for the flaws you now know intimately
All of these feelings are normal. When we sell a home – even when we want to move to a new home – it reminds us of all the things we hoped that home would be. It brings up the good memories and the bad. We see all the flaws of our home that we likely wouldn’t see in someone else’s home. Experience all these feelings, see them for what they are and let them out.
Get clear on your vision for where you’re headed next
Whether you’re happy to be moving on or would rather be staying put if you could, make sure you have a clear vision for what you want your life to be like in this next chapter. What will your new home be like? If you aren’t going to be settled immediately, what experiences do you hope to have?
For example, if you are selling your home after all of your children have flown the next, you may decide to finally take up painting as a hobby, or spend your weekends traveling to visit attractions and historical sites. If you are moving on after a divorce, visualize who you want to be now you are independent and the ways you want to spend your time.
With a clear vision, you can try to spend more time daydreaming about the possibilities for the future than grieving over the loss of the home or what could have been.
Remember that the memories are what matter
We as humans attach so much meaning to inanimate objects – we think about how proud we were to become a homeowner and what it was like watching our children pick out their rooms. But while your home was the location and subject of these memories, it doesn’t hold the value of the memory itself. You don’t have to leave behind the good memories. If you are worried you are going to forget, why not create a scrapbook or journal of the memories you have in the home for you to take with you?
Find things you can continue to do while the home sells
One thing that makes many of us feel off-balance when we’re selling our homes is the fact that we feel like our lives are put on hold. We feel like we can’t do projects because the home needs to be presentable, we can’t make big purchases because we need to look good for a mortgage application, and we can’t get events on the calendar because we aren’t exactly sure where we’ll be in a few weeks or months.
While the level of uncertainty around selling your home drops some when you sell to a cash buyer like us (since we can move quickly and you won’t have to worry about the buyer changing their mind), selling through a realtor can mean you feel in a state of flux for months. Try to find interests and projects that don’t require you to feel settled to enjoy.
Avoid Prolonged Anxiety About Selling Your Home
If you’re finding that the emotions are too much and the uncertainty around selling your home has sent your anxiety through the roof, you may find that selling to a cash buyer is the best way to get the process over as quickly as possible.
We buy homes in Massachusetts for cash and selling to us means that you won’t have to wait months to find a buyer and wait for them to be ready to close. The process of selling your home to us is simple:
- Let us know about your home
- Get our best cash offer
- Accept or decline
- If you accept, we’ll assess your house properly and come up with our final figure
- If you’re happy to move ahead, we’ll put the process in motion and can close in as little as 2 weeks.
That’s it. No realtors, no waiting for buyers to choose your home, and no not knowing when you’re going to be able to move forward with your life. If you’d like to learn more or would like to get a cash offer for your home, click here.