Selling your home isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Whether you’ve owned the home for a few months and it simply hasn’t lived up to your expectations, or you’ve been in the home for 20 or 30 years, the decision to sell is a serious one. The last thing you want is to end up regretting your decision. Sadly, many make the mistake of selling before they’re actually ready. The official name for this is “seller’s remorse.”
What is Seller’s Remorse?
Seller’s remorse is an emotional response that people often experience when they regret selling something they owned. This emotion can occur with small sales, but generally arises when large items – such as homes, cars, and businesses – are sold.
“In some cases, seller’s remorse sets in before the deal is completed, in which case the seller may try to back out of the deal,” wiseGEEK explains. “This is known as ‘getting cold feet,’ and it is especially common with real estate transactions, because the transaction can take two months or more to complete from the signing of the contract to the end of escrow, leaving lots of room for remorse.”
In some cases, sellers can back out without facing legal penalties. However, it’s fairly common for the seller to pay damages to the buyers and/or agents involved. If seller’s remorse doesn’t set in until after the transaction is complete, the only way for the original seller to get the property back is by purchasing it back from the new owner. Even if the owner agrees, it’s likely that the former owner will have to pay a steep premium.
4 Important Things to Consider
As you’ve certainly concluded, seller’s remorse is something you don’t want to experience. And while it’s impossible to be totally confident in how you’ll emotionally respond to the sale of your home, there are plenty of smart ways to prepare. For starters, you’ll want to consider the following.
- Tackle the Emotional Aspects in Advance
When seller’s remorse occurs, it’s typically because the seller hasn’t done a good job of considering the emotional aspects of a sale. They’ve been so focused on the financial and practical details that the thought of detachment hasn’t really been considered.
The best way to emotionally detach is by considering your property’s flaws. Why are you moving? Is it because you want a bigger backyard for the kids? Do you need another bedroom? Are there too many costly renovations that need to be done?
“Begin the detachment process by saying: ‘This works for me now, but it won’t work for me forever,” says Daryl Cioffi, a professional counselor and consultant. Once you recognize this, you can then begin to sort through the emotional baggage that comes with letting go. Give yourself the appropriate time and space to grieve and reminisce. While it may feel foolish in the moment, you’ll be glad that you did these things.
- Have a Plan for Moving (Immediately)
The worst thing you can do is not have a plan for moving. Every home sale is different. You could put your property on the market and be unable to sell for six months. Or, you could get a same-day offer where the buyer requests to close in 30 days. There’s no way to predict the outcome.
This is why it’s critically important that you have a plan for moving. Otherwise, you may use the sudden purchase offer as an excuse to back out. Be on the lookout for your next home and have a short-term backup strategy in place (such as crashing at a relative’s or renting an apartment).
- Shift Your Attention to the Future
As soon as you leave the closing table and give the keys to the new homeowners, begin planning for the future. This is the best way to deflect attention away from the sale of the home and put the emphasis on new and exciting adventures.
“Keep your mind focused on what’s ahead,” says Cioffi. “The fact is, it’s done. Now what? Look forward and focus on how you can make this new place something to be excited about.”
If memories from your previous home – such as family milestones – are too much to handle, shift your attention to making new memories in your new home. Host a housewarming party or start a project that involves the whole family. There’s something powerful about making new memories and living in the moment.
- Know When to Say No
Sometimes seller’s remorse is such a palpable emotion that it’s actually unhealthy to sell. If you can’t come to terms with the sale of your home prior to putting it on the market or signing papers at the closing table, then don’t force it. Take as much time as you need and don’t let anyone pressure you into doing anything.
If your feelings related to seller’s remorse don’t dissipate within a few weeks or months, then it may be smart to meet with a counselor or therapist to see if there are more serious underlying issues at play. Seller’s remorse can sometimes pop up as a defense mechanism for other things happening in your life. By dealing with the root issues, you may be able to defeat seller’s remorse and move on with the sale of your home.
Contact Green Residential Today
At Green Residential, we believe homeowners should be able to sell their homes without giving Houston realty companies a six percent cut of the sale. After all, if you’re selling a $250,000 home, this means you’re giving away $15,000. If you’re selling a $400,000 property, this number scales all the way to $24,000!
When you sell your Katy or Houston area home with Green Residential, we operate on a flat fee structure that’s designed to save you thousands of dollars. If you’re interested in learning more about how our industry leading flat fee structure works, then please contact us today!