In preparing for this blog post I almost fell into what appears to be a common trap in writing for Real Estate. My working title for this post started as “7 Easy Ways To Minimize Stress When Selling.”
Unfortunately – for my idea anyway – I recently sold my home, as documented in an earlier post. Having just been through that process let me be clear…
There are NO number of easy ways to minimize stress when moving. Period.
Now I’m not saying that there aren’t things that can be done that help, I’m just saying that moving in general is listed as the third most stressful life event that can occur – just behind death and divorce. We do it because the gain is worth the sacrifice and the strife. A better life, better house or better job beckons us and pushes us through the difficulties.
So I decided to have some fun and make light of some of the research I compiled while planning my original concept. Below follows some advice I found, and my somewhat sarcastic retort injecting real life into arguably far reaching directives.
1. Declutter. We advise for a number of good reasons to remove personal items and long held treasures from the home before showing it for sale. Buyers need to imagine themselves living in your house if they are to buy it. It’s a simple psychological truth that it’s easier to do that without the 14 X 20 photo of your wedding day over the mantle, multiple photos of children and pets on every wall and your great grandmother’s Precious Moments collectible figurines nestled precariously on various surfaces throughout the house. Still, decluttering is easier said than done. Living rooms and kitchens, bathrooms and such are usually simple, kids bedrooms…not so much. Bottom line, do the best you can and understand that while a nearly blank canvas professionally staged is preferred, it’s not always possible.
2. Keep you home 10 minutes from “Show Ready” at all times. I nearly threw my back out laughing as I read this useful piece of advice. Did the people writing this have kids?? Or pets?? Or even real lives??? No one should turn down a showing request. But I can’t think of anyone that hasn’t gotten the text notification at the worst possible moment.
Our agents will always work with you to ensure a proper level of lead time before a showing request is honored. But you know what they say about the “best laid plans.” Time gets away from all of us and even hours of time often melt away necessitating what I refer to as the “fire drill” minutes before leaving the home. Parents yelling orders, toys shoved into hidden spaces, pillows fluffed and a mop erasing their footprints on gleaming floors as they back out the door. Over and over again throughout the selling process. Good news is, you learn to disassociate from your home a little more each and every time so that by the time the For Sale turns to Sold, you’re more than ready to go.
3. Leave Home on the Weekends. Many buyers opt to look at homes over the weekend. Understandably they’re busy during the week and use the weekend as prime-time to catch up on important things like yard work, errands and of course house hunting. Unfortunately, the same holds true for the seller. If you are fortunate enough that grandparents are willing to take on the kids, allowing you and your spouse to book a couple’s spa trip every weekend – great!! If that IS the case, I hate you. And I still want you to list your home with our team.
4. Be flexible. I don’t know of a single seller we’ve helped on our team that wasn’t flexible. It’s absolutely a mandate. Flexible with showings, flexible with closing dates, flexible with open houses…the list goes on and on. Have I already said “Easier said than done” in this blog? We appreciate your flexibility – but in NO WAY does it translate into stress relief. Unless you’re the aforementioned couple above. In which case I still hate you. 🙂
5. Stay Healthy. Few things cause more stress than bad health. Except moving, divorce and death – which to be fair could be caused by the bad health I guess. Experts advise apparently, that while moving you ensure that all family members are well fed, well rested and find time to relax and have fun. If you can do this regularly while planning a move, possible job change, school change, etc – you’re better planned, better prepared and probably just better in general than I am. Follow the advice if you can – for the rest of us, try to plan a vacation after the sale.
6. Move before selling. This falls into the “Why didn’t I think of that?” category. Along with the beautiful couple taking spa days every Saturday and Sunday, buying and moving into another home prior to listing is apparently deemed useful information on the internet. Does it happen? Sure. Sometimes relocation makes it necessary. Is it common? Not so much.
So that’s about it. As has been a habit lately, I’m exactly 1 item short of the 7 promised. Like our last blog, we’d like YOU to provide the 7th way. Anyone out there sold a home and either found or was given a “useful” tip to make the process easier? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!