Making the Decision to Sell Your Home

The decision to sell your home can occur in a variety of ways, all of which, can be emotionally and psychologically complicated. The decision to leave the protected environment that you've called home may be your decision or it may be one that someone like an employer made for you. Whether you've been in your home 30 years, 3 years, or you've sold multiple homes before, the decision is always a big one and one you must think through thoroughly.

Leaving a home you love will be difficult and maybe even worse if you must do it because of a job transfer, a divorce, or losing your job. On the other hand, perhaps you need to sell and find a new home because you've gotten married, started a family, or received a promotion at work. Depending on your situation, your time frame for selling your home will be different and if you're the one that made the decision, you will feel more in control of your house-selling destiny.

Here is a list of some of the reasons why people choose to sell their home:

  • Marriage - You are each living in your own one bedroom apartment, or perhaps living with roommates or family. Even if you are living together, you may find that the one bedroom condo doesn't have enough space for all of your wedding gifts and other "stuff." You might decide this is the time to move up to a larger space with room for a guest room, an office, or maybe room for a family at a later date.
  • Children - Many people sell their homes due to the increasing size of their family. As children grow, they seem to take up more space as does their stuff. Or maybe you bought a three bedroom only planning for two kids and the third is already on the way. You may also want to change school districts or look into a neighborhood with a swimming pool or other family friendly amenities.
  • Job Promotion - As your income grows, the allure of the bigger and better home surfaces. A new job could also change the distance of the commute and it may be a good time to find a home closer to the new job. Of course, most families will need to sell their current home in order to finance a new larger one.
  • Job Loss - Losing a job is not only difficult emotionally, but can indeed have an affect on your finances. If a new job is not easily found, or if the replacement job pays less money, a devastating domino effect can occur including selling your home.
  • Divorce - If two paychecks have been paying the mortgage, one will probably not be enough on its own. Additionally, the equity in the home becomes the primary asset in most divorce cases.
  • Aging Parents - As your parents or grandparents age, you may be required to sell their home for them if they need to move into an assisted living arrangement. If the relative needs to move in with you, you might need to sell your home and purchase a larger home or add an addition onto the one you already have.
  • Inheritance - You may inherit property from a family member, and if you do not want to live in it, you may consider selling it.

Despite the various reasons for why you might sell your home, selling and moving will are an emotional burden, and one that gets heavier as the process continues. To combat this, one of the best things a homeowner can do according to most brokers, is to distance themselves from the home and become a seller.

What do they mean? Well most homeowners are territorial about their home, which is expected. It is the place where you've raised your family and its filled with your love and belongings. Having strangers say negative things about your home or neighborhood and poke around in your closets can be very intrusive. When homeowners become sellers and get past all this, they realize that selling their home is going to be a business deal. The home becomes a commodity, nothing more, and nothing less.

A seller will look at the other homes in the neighborhood not as competition, but to realize the true value of their home. Being the biggest, best, or highest price will not be important to the savvy seller. Sellers will welcome the buyers into their home and allow the buyers to treat it as their own home. No matter the dirt they track in or the negative comments they say, the seller will not be hurt, but instead look to improve the situation. A seller will be realistic about the actual value of their home. While a homeowner will be territorial and may demand a price, a seller will analyze their home with their broker and make sure to not underprice or overprice for their market. They will encourage buyers, not discourage them.

As you can see, being a home seller is a different stance than being a homeowner. To get ready to be a home seller, realize you will be giving up a certain autonomy; you are going to be dependant more or less, at the wills and desires of your buyers. But in the end, if you've already separated yourself emotionally from the home, your move will be easier and instead of anxiety, you'll be looking forward to your new home.

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