Kids say the funniest things. This morning my son walks into my room to say good morning and then proceeds to ask me if I knew how to find inner peace. Not to deflate his perception of me knowing how to do anything, I told him yes and proceeded to give him a hug and move about our morning. We didn’t speak about it further but his question has sat with me all day.
I have been thinking a lot lately about some of my friends, family, and clients who have been struggling to find some reassurance in their decision to sell their homes. All of them have had good reasons to do so. Financial hardship, the passing of a spouse, poor health, job opportunity, etc. Differences as to why they sold aside, they all had one thing shared in common. They have all struggled emotionally detaching from their homes; if I could help them find inner peace, I would.
While I personally have never struggled emotionally detaching from a home I owned, I have seen many times firsthand the toll it can take on a person. It was only a year ago that I was tasked with selling the home I grew up in, the home my father had passed away in. Seeing my mother and sisters come to grips with the reality of the situation was daunting. Letting go of a house is often a very difficult. The longer you live in the same house the more difficult it is, especially if most of your memories are good ones. How can you sell the home where your child first crawled and spoke or where you hosted your first Thanksgiving dinner at?
Here are some tips that I have collected that may help you emotionally detach when selling your home. Some are from past clients, and they swear by them:
- Try to put things in perspective. It is just a house, you and your family is what makes it a home. A home can be created anywhere there is love.
- Remove Your Personal Items. Taking any of your personal items out of the house will make the process easier on you. Removing your family photos, keepsakes and personal items will make the house feel less like yours
- Think About Your New Home. It will take some time, but you can transfer that emotional connection to the new place where you will live. Start focusing on all of the things that you are looking forward to about living in your new home.
- Start thinking of your home as a product to be marketed. Everything will seem harder until you realize that your house is now a property.
- Accept that moving on doesn’t negate the past. Take pictures of your house, rooms and special possessions. Write down your memories of the house too. Put everything in a box labeled memories and pack it away for your next home.
- Ask yourself “What will the sale of this house give me or enable me to do for my family?” Hold onto these positive images and recall them regularly.
- Think and talk in chapters. This property was one chapter. There will be more. Look forward to the next chapter of your life.
Last but not least, be honest with your real estate agent about how difficult this is for you. The more information you give the agent, the more they can work around any potential problems. Listen carefully to his or her suggestions. If you’ve hired a great one, they will be there for you with a shoulder, a helping hand, or maybe even a bottle of wine.