For the majority of homeowners, there’s a nearly inevitable event somewhere on the horizon: Eventually, you will probably sell your home.
Across the country, thousands of homes are sold every day. It’s simply the nature of the real estate business; properties are constantly being bought and sold. But when it’s time for yours to be one of those properties, it can be a little scary.
Any home sale can be susceptible to hang-ups that seem uncomfortable. The process of getting your home ready to sell can be daunting. Handing over the keys to complete strangers can be discomforting.
That said, there are some things that potential home sellers seem to fear the most. But not everything has to be so scary!
Making (and keeping) your home presentable
One of the common complaints of home sellers is the necessity to clean, repair and stage their homes so that visitors can pop in whenever and poke around. Sellers are made to feel as though their home must stay in pristine condition 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The truth is, however, that getting a home ready to show often means a de-cluttering process that would be necessary before moving anyway. It’s a seller’s chance to get a jump on the moving process, to purge unnecessary belongings and get personal touches ready to move to the next home. If you think of it as an opportunity, rather than a chore, getting a home ready to show to potential buyers can have major benefits.
And if you’re working with the right listing agent, you shouldn’t ever be forced to drop everything and straighten up for an unexpected showing. A good listing agent will accommodate your day-to-day life without sacrificing sales efforts.
Criticism from buyers
When push comes to shove in negotiations, buyers will point out what they see are deficiencies in your home. It’s simply a part of the sales process, and hearing that the carpet you love needs to be torn out or the wall color in your youngest one’s nursery needs to be changed are not personal indictments of you or your home.
It’s tough to hear that other people don’t love what you love about your home. But if you’ve been shopping for another home, you’ve likely made the same kind of observations. You want to be able to put your touches on your new space, and you don’t mean any insult to the current owners by having that desire. It’s nothing personal, so it’s nothing to fear when the shoe’s on the other foot. (Related: Clever Ways to Help Your Home Sell Faster)
At the same time, it’s nerve-wracking to have your home gone over with a fine-toothed comb by a home inspector, who is, by contract, working for the buyer.
Frankly, any home inspector is going to point out some shortcomings in any home. That’s their job, and they have a fiduciary responsibility to the buyer to convey their professional opinion. But chances are, most of what is revealed by the inspector is what you already know.
For example, if you have 20-year shingles on the roof and you haven’t replaced it in 18 years, it’s just a fact that the roof is near replacement age. If your furnace is not operating efficiently, it’s probably something you’ve noticed, and you can be sure that a professional inspector will corroborate that.
Keep in mind that nothing that comes up in a home inspection is necessarily a deal-breaker. Everything is negotiable, and if you weren’t selling the home, it’s likely you were going to absorb some expense to remedy anything revealed by a home inspection anyway.
There’s no question that there are “tire-kickers” out there, or people who simply like to look at homes on the market but have no real interest or ability to actually purchase the home.
It just goes with the territory. But if you be sure to only consider offers from potential buyers who have been pre-qualified with a lender, you’re more likely to avoid bogus purchase offers. No bank’s pre-qualification letter is ironclad, but it at least means the buyer is somewhat sincere about their ability to purchase a home like yours.
And any serious buyer’s agent is going to insist on mortgage pre-qualification of their clients before presenting an offer. No true real estate professional is interested in wasting time, theirs or yours.
This is an oft-overlooked aspect of the process, but it’s not always easy to leave a home in which you’ve lived for a long time. The phrase “putting down roots” is metaphorical, but when you have to actually pull up roots, it can feel very real. It can be uncomfortable and scary because every home purchase is quite an emotional one.
But there are a couple of things to keep in mind, perspective-wise. One, giving up a space you’ve considered home means that you’re about to embark on that exciting adventure again. You get to experience that anew, get to put your personal stamp on a fresh place of your own. It’s a goodbye that comes with an exciting new hello. (Related: 10 Ways to Make Moving Day a Breeze and Reduce Stress)
Secondly, you’re providing that same experience for someone else by entrusting to them the place you’ve grown to love. You’re giving someone else the opportunity to love that home the way you did when it first fit you the best. You’re not walking away from all that’s meaningful; you’re just giving someone else the same chance you were given to make meaningful moments.
The bottom line is that selling a home can be sort of scary. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that. But looking at things from different perspectives, and realizing that just about every homeowner at one point or another goes through it, might help make it a bit less scary.