All transitions are filled with stressful moments. Deciding to put one’s treasured home on the market can be an extremely overwhelming situation that is further exacerbated by the process of eventually moving to a new location. Being informed and fully aware of the expectations of each step of the transition can go a long way to minimizing the inevitable extra stress. Follow these 10 steps to minimize the home selling stress trap.
1. Focus on what you can control. Realize that certain aspects cannot be changed. In order to reduce stress it will be necessary to remain flexible and open-minded. Not everything is going to proceed as planned.
2. Recognize Stressors. Create a mental list of things that will be irritating. Review that list and ask yourself:
“How can I avoid these issues?
”How can I cope with things that don’t go as planned?”
3. Review the marketability of your home. Do your homework and become an informed consumer. Using the Internet, assess the value of your current home. Look at comparable homes that have sold in your neighborhood. Visit homes that are currently on the market to scout out your competition. This will enable you to be better prepared to either sell your home or effectively communicate with a realtor.
4. Assess the condition of your home. Is your home not in move-in condition? Are there any items that need to be fixed inside your home? Is your home missing curbside appeal? If the answers are yes, repair or upgrade the items that could easily and affordably improve the value of your home.
5. Check out buying options. Review your financial situation to determine the appropriate level for a new mortgage. If you have any doubts about affordability, shop around for a loan pre-approval. Get a feel for your housing options by visiting new and existing homes for sale. Understanding the marketplace will make the decision making process easier and less stressful.
6. Select a Realtor. If you choose to hire a realtor, interview several people from different real estate companies. Compare the marketing plans generated by each realtor. Is the data consistent? How does it compare to your own research? Checking references and their sales record can provide useful information. Choose one that can answer all of your questions and has a compatible personality.
7. Be Organized. Create a checklist that highlights all of the things that need to be accomplished with realistic due dates. Reduce the clutter in your home by donating unwanted items to charity. Things that are not used on a regular basis can be boxed. Limiting the amount of visible items will add to the overall appearance of your home. Realtors suggest that most of your personal items be hidden during an open house.
8. Decide Sequencing. Are you comfortable purchasing a new home with a contingency to sell your existing home? Would you prefer to sell your home and then look for a new residence? Both options have advantages and disadvantages. Research different scenarios and determine which one will produce less anxiety and is the most realistic for your particular situation.
9. List the Home for Sale. After doing all of the necessary homework, choose a selling price, decide on a marketing plan, and arrange for the promotional materials to be created. Open houses and videos are a matter or personal choice.
10. Live a Healthy Lifestyle. Find time to participate in a positive lifestyle that includes physical activity, a nutritious diet, no smoking, moderate alcohol intake, a daily dose of humor, and sufficient time to relax and sleep. Don’t forget to find time to acknowledge the positive aspects of moving. Be grateful for the opportunity to change your residence. The process of moving should be a happy experience instead of an aggravating sequence of events.
There is no doubt that selling a residence and purchasing a new home can produce additional anxiety and stress. Finding general ways to reduce stress can lighten that burden. Taking time to understand the buying and selling process can go a long way to reducing unwanted tension. Following these 10 steps will make the transition more enjoyable.
Sandra Bornstein has bought and sold numerous homes. Her primary residence is currently on the market.
The memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, and the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards.