sales are usually emotional roller-coaster rides for everyone involved,
and you probably still bear the emotional scars from the turmoil
you endured as a home buyer. Now, as a house seller, you're about
to sit on the other side of the table. Consider the powerful emotions
acting on you when you sell your house:
Big needs: Shelter is one of the basic necessities of life,
and you and the buyers will do verbal battle over a place to live.
egos: The house you're about to sell is your castle. If buyers
or their agents attempt to justify a low offering price for your
house by citing its real and imagined flaws, your blood may boil.
money: Whether this is the first house you sell or the last,
the money you have in it probably represents one of your largest
changes: Selling a house would be stressful enough if you
only had to deal with the first two forces. Throw in a life change,
such as job relocation, marriage, divorce, birth, death, or retirement,
and the result is an emotional minefield.
Putting emotions in their
you can never eliminate emotions from the process of selling your
house, the next best option is to control your emotions. Folks who
do the best job of this usually end up getting the best deals. Here
are time-tested tactics to control your emotions:
Keep your sale in perspective. Which would you rather have
fail -- your house sale or your open-heart surgery? No matter
how bad circumstances are with the sale, keep reminding yourself
that this isn't a life-or-death situation. Life goes on. If worse
comes to worst, the deal will die -- but you'll survive to find
time your ally. Even if you must sell because of some momentous
life change -- such as getting married or divorced, having a baby,
or retiring -- you probably have advance notice before the big
event occurs. Don't put yourself under needless pressure by procrastinating.
Give yourself enough time to sell your house.
an emotional arm's length. Be prepared to walk away from a
sale if you and the buyer can't reach a satisfactory agreement
on price and terms. Mentally condition yourself to the possibility
that the deal may fall through; keep other options open. Buyers
are like buses -- if you miss one, another one comes along in
a little while.
the facts. Use a comparable market analysis to factually establish
the fair market value of your house. A good real estate agent
can help in this area. If you're like most people, having someone
to buffer you from your unavoidable emotional involvement helps.
Make sure that you work with patient, not pushy, professionals
who are committed to getting you the best deal.
the unknown. You always have more questions than answers at
the beginning of a deal. Don't worry; you'll be fine as long as
you know what you need to find out and you get answers in a timely
manner during your transaction.
Gaining detachment through an
you and the buyers, good real estate agents don't take things personally.
For example, your agent won't be offended if the buyers say that
they hate the red-flocked wallpaper that you feel adds "just
the right touch" to your den. The buyers' agent, by the same
token, won't be upset if your agent says that the buyers' offer
for your exquisite house is ridiculously low.
is easier for agents. After all, they're not the ones who spent
three months looking for appropriate wallpaper to put in the den.
Nor is their life's savings on the negotiating table. Agents must
listen to what the market says that a house is worth. If they don't,
the property won't sell, and they won't get paid. Agents don't allow
distracting details to confuse negotiations.
To Seller Services
Next Step: Receiving an
Offer to Purchase