You are, after all, putting what is likely to be your biggest asset on the line. And the outcome is uncertain. Selling your home also means change. Where are you moving to afterwards?
No doubt too there are a lot memories associated with your home, both good and bad. You are not just selling any asset. You are selling one that’s likely to be jam-packed with emotions.
The sales process can also be extremely stressful.
Firstly, you have to get your home ready for sale – a busy task added to all the other things you have to do. Then you have to keep your home spotlessly clean and tidy while it’s on sale and just in case your real estate agent suddenly wants to show people through.
You will also be getting feedback through the sales process, some of which you may not like. Your agent may also start telling you that market conditions have turned. Is he or she telling you the truth or just setting you up to accept a lower price on the sale? And then there’s that agonising wait for the right buyer to bite.
After that, there may be other stressful decisions to make. Should I accept this offer? Will I get a better one if I wait? Here are some tips to help you through the ups and downs of the process:
Being more informed will help you mentally prepare yourself for what is to come. It will also help you make better decisions and minimise surprises and uncertainty as the sales process unfolds. A host of online resources exist to help you better understand the sales process and the factors affecting the property market. Search the internet for tips from experts, read your local newspaper, visit open houses nearby and speak to people who have bought or sold in your area lately as well as the real estate agents in your neighbourhood.
Choose the right agent:
Having a trusted real estate agent with experience and wisdom can make the difference between a successful process or one fraught with stress and frustration. A good agent, working in your interests, will guide you through all the stressful decision-making and provide practical tips along the way.
Doing proper research, asking the right questions, and reading customer reviews can help you check the credentials and character of agents in your area, so that you make the best choice.
In addition to your agent, try to get a friend who has recently sold a home to be a sounding board. Also let friends and family know you are going through the process, so that they can be there when you need them.
Know what’s next:
Don’t have two uncertain situations happening at the same time. Even if you plan to buy or find your next home after you sell this one, have a clear plan in place that makes that next step appear less stressful. Drawing up a list of all the positives surrounding your next move can help you to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Have all your ducks in a row. For example, speak to your bank about any finance you may need to finance your next home. Know what you will do if the new buyers want to take quick occupation of your home or if your home fails to sell quickly.
Try to keep your home orderly and "show ready" at all times. Ensure family members knows how important this is and enlist their help. Develop a light tidy up a daily routine in case your agent wants to bring people through at short notice. Have a system in place that enables you to rush through the home and remove the things you use every day quickly. For example, have a box in each rooms to put these items in and a place to easily store it.
Have a thick skin:
Buyers often criticise the properties they are viewing. Try to distinguish between feedback and criticism. And remember, we all have different tastes. If we didn’t, it would be a very boring and uniform world.
Use effective stress busters:
Go for long walks or head for the gym. Take long relaxing baths with essential oils. Try out some breathing exercises, yoga or meditation. Listen to relaxing music or treat yourself to a message. Find a gripping book to take your mind off the sale.
Have a sense of humour:
Laughing releases muscle tension and helps one maintain perspective. Watch a funny movie or TV show, meet up with entertaining friends and look for the funny angle in what’s happening.
Sleep on it:
Hasty decisions are usually poor decisions. If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Often things seem clearer in the light of day.
Try to banish negative thoughts to the bin. Know that everything in life usually works out as it is supposed to and that worrying won't change anything.