Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Selling your house without losing your sanity!



If you're thinking about selling your house, the first thing you need to prepare is your mind set before you even start on your home. Having your house up for sale is one of the most stressful things you will ever go through. Cleaning, repairing, staging, packing and keeping the house in a constant state of spotlessness is hard work and takes a toll on relationships and family time. Besides being a Realtor, my husband and I have sold 5 homes and we know that stress all too well. Even though all of our homes sold in less than 90 days, by the second week on the market I was pulling my hair out, screaming at the kids and doubting my decision to keep the house on the market. My famous last words were, "If this house doesn't sell by next week, then we're just going to forget it!" Unfortunately, one has to be more patient than that to sell a house, especially now when the average time on the market is over 120 days. So before you list your house, here's some tips to prepare yourself and your family mentally for life "on the market".

1. Make Lists. If you are like me and tend to make mental notes rather than actually writing down things, the task of getting a house prepared to sell can seem more overwhelming than it actually is. When you see a closet that is needs to be cleaned or a carpet that needs shampooing, jot it down. It will be out of your mind and down on paper where you can deal with it when you are ready.
2. Start small. When you walk by your sofa, fluff the pillows. Make the beds before you leave for work in the morning. Put the toys back in the toy box before you retire to bed at night. By taking a few minutes to start doing something...anything....it will start stirring up energy way deep down inside of you that you will need to call upon to get you through the next few months.
3. Visualize potential buyers looking at your home. You need to think like a buyer is going to think. Visualize the buyer walking up to your door and see their expression on first seeing of your home. It will help you be more mindful of the impressions your home will be making.
4. Talk. Have honest family discussions about how difficult it is going to be to keep the house picked up and how important everyone's cooperation will be. Lay out the ground rules as far in advance as possible. Let children know what is expected of them. Let them know it isn't forever and try and build in incentives and rewards for their help.
5. Keep a sense of perspective. Your house isn't going to be perfect. No buyer expects that. Don't psyche yourself out before you even get your house on the market. With the help of a good realtor, a professional stager, and possibly a handyman; your house will sell. Relax.

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