On my last post, I wrote about all the stress points in the process of buying a home. Well, if you thought selling a home was a walk in the park, you’re wrong. It is also quite stressful, but from a different vantage point. Here are some of the stress points to be aware of when selling your home. In this post, I’m not trying to solve the stressful items, just reassuring you that you aren’t alone in feeling stressed.
Prepping the Home—You like your house, and you think anyone who doesn’t must be color blind or trashy. But, you just never know what someone is going to be looking for. Prepping your house to appeal to the eyes, hearts and minds of a broad audience of home buyers requires making some sacrifices of your own style. You have to help them see beyond your presence in the home and project themselves in their future happy life in the home. And it is stressful to give up your own life in the home to seduce an unknown buyer.
Pricing—This is the biggest area of stress most likely. You’ve got your bottom line and you have your goal number. Your Realtor has the harsh reality of the market, backed up nicely with comp sales. You want to price your house higher than recommended, just to see what happens—wouldn’t want to leave money on the table, would you? Yet, the longer it sits on the market overpriced, the more stressful it gets. You may be advised to price it low to create a bidding war that just might drive the price up to dream goal price. But, it is stressful to think about what happens if…well, if nothing happens. Then you are stuck with a low price, which might mean it was over-priced to start with.
Negotiations—You finally have a good offer to work with. You want to bring them closer to your needs, but you also don’t want to scare them off. And, in this market, you want to make sure they are serious, committed buyers, because having to come back on the market would be very stressful.
Inspections—You know the house is fine…you’ve been living in it just fine for years. Sure , the furnace makes that funny noise and you aren’t really sure why that patch of lawn on the corner of the house is always wet. But, the buyer better not ask for any repairs or price concessions! This sale is “as-is,” right? Well, all sales are “as-is” and almost everything is negotiable. And, being asked to make repairs or drop the price is very stressful. Fix the house up the best you can and be prepared to make some concessions, if necessary.
Appraisal—This one is probably equally stressful for both buyer and seller because the fate of the sale is in the hands of a mostly-neutral third party. If it comes in over the purchase price, you might wonder if you should have negotiated them up higher. If it comes in lower, that is where the stress really kicks in because you feel like you’ve already made enough concessions and it is time for the buyer to put up or shut up, right? Might need to compromise just a bit more at this point.
Closing—Closing always seems to come on suddenly and that last stressful week is rough. Will anything jeopardize the buyer’s loan? It would be horrible to come back on the market at this point, having lost all this prime marketing time and having to explain to future buyers that it was all this buyer’s fault. And, if everything stays on track, will you have time to get your stuff out for the day of closing, and do cleaning?
And, what if you are selling one house and buying another with proceeds? I’m not even gonna go there. That is way too stressful for me to even ponder in a “what if?” blog like this one.
Yes, selling a house if stressful, but so was buying it. But, people sell and buy houses everyday and you can too. Know the stress points, talk them out with your Realtor and support circle.
And, don’t forget to breathe—nice and deep and slow. There…all better!