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The Emotional Side of Home Selling

Dave Kolakowski

Dave Kolakowski is "Head-of-Stuff" at Living In Metro DC and an area resident for over 45 years...

Dave Kolakowski is "Head-of-Stuff" at Living In Metro DC and an area resident for over 45 years...

Aug 26 5 minutes read

The decision to sell your home isn’t an easy one. In fact, research has ranked selling a home as second to relationship breakups for the most stressful experience in a person’s life. The same survey said Americans are more stressed out about selling their home than planning a wedding, getting fired or even becoming a parent.

In other words, it’s perfectly normal to have strong emotions. The good news? Though the experience can feel overwhelming and inspire doubts, it doesn’t have to get in the way of a successful home sale, and there's always a bright side. Here are three stories from homeowners that prove it.

The Story: Last Minute Memories 

Nostalgia seems to unexpectedly hit many sellers like a ton of bricks once they see their home empty and ready for its next owner. Getting caught up in the chaos of moving can only keep your mind busy for so long before you realize what you are about to leave behind. Oftentimes sellers feel the rush towards the end of the process. That’s exactly what happened to Erin, author of The Sunny Side Up Blog. She says, “I walked around room to room. I could see my baby girls running around in dress-ups. I could see our evening routine – giving them a bath and putting them in matching PJs. I could see so many sweet moments between my kids and how fast they grew right in front of my eyes in that house."

"It’s not hard to say good-bye to a house. It’s hard to say good-bye to special memories and to the end of an era. A really happy era that I will tuck away and treasure in my heart forever."

The Bright Side ☀️

“We feel so blessed to be in our new home, we are definitely going through a bit of a transition.  I know it will just take time. I also know that someday, much sooner than I can imagine, I will be walking through the rooms of our new house feeling the exact same way.”

The Story: An Empty-Nester’s Adult Kid Confronts The End of An Era

In a story from The Atlantic on navigating how empty-nesters navigated the sale of a family home, the story of Alene Bouranova stands out. Bouranova grew up in Kirkland, Washington. She was at school in Boston, Massachusetts when she got the news that her parents had sold her childhood home. 

“I started crying in the dining hall, just crying all over my plate of pasta,” Bouranova says. “I was not pleased at all. That was my home.”

The Bright Side ☀️

Although Bouranova was initially emotional about the sale of her childhood home, she came to terms with the decision and understood the reason behind her parent’s decision. 

 “It’s my parents, and as sad as I was originally, it’s their lives and they can do what they want,” Bouranova says. “I just want them to be happy.”

My Personal Story: Moments Of Doubt

Despite being a Realtor who has guided many clients through the home-selling process, my wife and I are in the final preparation stages of getting ready to sell our own home in Bethesda. It is eye-opening as to how much longer this has taken than we thought it would, even with me having been in the business for over 28 years. What has most surprised us is how emotional we feel about selling our family’s home of 19 years.  We began to doubt ourselves throughout the process after realizing the attachment we had not just to the home itself but to the neighbors and neighborhood. 

“We started to doubt ourselves. Why did we need to make any changes when this house worked well for us? While we were ready for a new house, we were attached to our home, to our garden, and to our neighborhood.”

The Bright Side ☀️

Like many of my clients, these thoughts have kept me up at night. But we are confident that our fears will be alleviated, however, with multiple offers, happy buyers and a quick sale, thanks to smart renovations, good staging, and fair pricing.

The Bottom Line

There’s no doubt that you won’t ever forget the memories you made in your home, but looking forward to the new memories you’ll create in the future and getting excited for what’s to come can put your mind at ease. 

No matter if you’ve lived there a couple years or many decades, selling your home can inspire a deep emotional response.

Selling your home is hard.
Selling without an experienced agent is even harder.

Even if you’re not planning on selling soon,
preparing you (and your home) to sell will help with the
stress and anxiety that are sure to come.

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