After years in your home, you decide it's time to move on to something new. As you walk down the hall and see the family photos on the wall, you realize that your house isn’t just made of wood and concrete; it’s made of all the memories you built there. While true, emotional attachment can be dangerous for a number of reasons, and can even hurt your final sale price. So how can you avoid having your emotions hinder your home sale?
Be Careful Not to Overprice
The memories made in your home make it worth far more in your mind than property value calculators and real estate comparables can possibly measure. But the cold hard truth is, your memories don't increase the value of your home for anyone else. Still, it's not uncommon for homeowners to inflate their list price by as much as 8% over fair market value.
So what causes sellers to overprice? Typically a combination of all the things mentioned above, plus knowledge of all the money spent on home maintenance, repair and upgrades over the years. In a best case scenario, you'll earn some of the cash you put into upgrades back at closing. But, if you've lived in a place for a long time, the likelihood of earning all that cash back is very low. Why? Because, just like everything else, upgrades depreciate over time. Moreover, customizations you make to your home for you don't necessarily correlate with a future buyer's needs or tastes.
If pricing your property is overwhelming, use this guide to learn how to determine the real market value of your home. If you want a little extra help, you can always ask us for a second opinion.
Let Potential Buyers Envision Their Future Life In Your Home
Put yourself in the position of the buyer who is trying to decide whether or not your property is the perfect place for their family to build their own new memories. In order to provide them with the opportunity to imagine a life in your home, you need to depersonalize your space. Remove family photos, replace them with generic artwork and store personal items and knick-knacks. When it's all said and done, your place should feel like a well-decorated hotel. While this isn't a particularly fun task, it's very helpful for the success of your sale.
Don’t Be Too Picky – There Is No “Perfect Buyer”
Sure, you want someone who will take care of your home and appreciate it the way you do, but you shouldn't let your hunt for the best buyer get in the way of selling your home. If you find that you’re hesitant about a buyer because you don’t feel that they will truly appreciate your home for the special place it is, it might be time to take an honest look at your reservations. Are you letting emotion keep you from making a sound business decision? If you realize this is happening, you can make a conscious effort to be objective and practical about the selling process.
Resist the Urge to Share Your Experiences with the Buyer
Resist the temptation to talk about your many great experiences with prospective buyers, no matter how strong the urge is. Nostalgia makes you feel good, but it can be concerning to potential buyers to see that you're so deeply attached to the property. It can also make them worried that price negotiations are going to be biased. Keep your conversations short and property focused and be careful not to go off on tangents.
Ultimately, you'll get the best final sale price if you can force yourself to cut out your emotional attachment to your home and be objective with prospective buyers throughout the selling process.