How to Manage the Emotional Side of Selling Your Family Home

The pencil marks on the door frame where you measured your son’s height, the backyard where you took your daughter’s prom photos, the kitchen where so many memorable family dinners took place…a well-loved family home is so much more than four walls providing shelter. Selling it means leaving a place that holds many memories.

According to the Census Bureau, 8.4 percent of the population moved in 2021. While over 40 percent of people moved because of price, 25 percent moved for family-related reasons, such as a death in the family or children growing up and leaving home. The average homeowner stays in the family home for over 13 years, and in the Northeast it’s closer to 15 years. Handling life’s milestones plus purging possessions you’ve accumulated over many years adds up to an emotionally complicated time.

There’s good news. Helping clients work through the emotional aspect of selling their home is a huge part of what I do. Sellers need someone who is calm and collected who won’t let feelings stand in the way of the end goal — a successful sale in the fastest amount of time at the highest price possible.

Letting Go

When you lived in a home for more than 15 years, you have a lot of time to develop attachments. You lose objectivity and ability to view things with a critical eye and that is why bringing in professionals to help with decluttering and staging is so essential.

Helping sellers prepare their homes for market means supporting them while sorting through clutter collected over the decades — much of it wrapped up in family memories. You need a partner in the process that is sensitive to the emotional connections who will provide a supportive shoulder to lean on while keeping their eye on the prize — packing up and paring down.

As a first step, I meet with my clients to assess their individual situation and provide a list of what needs to be done in their house. My recommendations address updates to the decor, depersonalizing, decluttering, and repairs and renovations that need to be made. With my extensive local network, I can also recommend and connect my clients with industry professionals to help bring the property up to date and make it market ready. This hands-on approach helps sellers feel less stressed and overwhelmed while beginning the detachment process from their well-loved home.

Putting a price on memories

When you haven’t bought or sold a house in several decades, you may not be familiar with current market conditions or pricing. And it’s often difficult to push memories and emotions aside to think about your home as a product on the market. You need a realtor who is prepared with data that will inform a competitive pricing strategy, so you have the best chance at achieving the highest price in the shortest amount of time.

When working with clients to determine price, I provide an up-to-date market analysis with comparable listings, pending sales, buyer demand, and other relevant data to drive the strategy. When armed with the facts, it’s easier to make your emotions take a back seat.

Whether it’s selling your parent’s home or your own, having someone help you with the details eases the emotional transition. Selling a home is one of the biggest financial and emotional decisions you’ll make — partnering with an expert real estate professional can give you the emotional separation you need to see your home more objectively and prepare it for sale. By acknowledging your feelings and having a trusted realtor partner at your side, you will be better equipped to make the right choices. And on the days you feel like you can’t leave your beloved family home behind, a seasoned realtor can help keep things moving.

Interested in selling? Contact Fiona for a consultation. 

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Let Fiona help you sell or find your dream home. Contact Fiona at 914-414-5147 or email her directly.