The Emotional Aspect of Selling Your Home

The Emotional Aspect of Selling Your Home

When it comes to selling your home, everyone knows it’s an emotional journey. In fact is it listed as one of the “Big Three” in life’s  emotional stressors.  So no one expects you to be cool as a cucumber the whole time.  But it’s no fun to be a basket case either right?  Here are some tips to help you get through what can be an emotionally taxing sales process.  

Re-wire your thinking

Try to reframe your mind set about your property.  It’s helpful to position yourself as no longer a home “owner” but a home “seller”. This results in adopting a more objective attitude to your home.  This takes practice and is a lot harder for some than others. It’s also not usually a joint emotional experience.  Most couples differ in their intensity in their emotions before, during and after the sale. This is normal. It is, however,  vitally important to try to be on the same page and support each other towards the best outcome.  The last thing you need is a fight with your spouse on top of the sale process. 

Empathy is key

The right agent will be able to guide you though the process with open communication and earned trust.  You also need to have empathy for each other if you are selling with a partner.  Try to take the more objective and healthy long term approach. No one is forcing you to sell (hopefully) so you need to be sure you have decided that the time is right. Getting into ‘sale mode” can take some time so begin the mindset shift process well before the For Sale sign goes up. 

Listen to the market, not your emotional attachment

One of the most upsetting aspects of selling is getting different feedback from potential buyers on price than you expected. Do not take it personally.  Buyers are objective and (for the most part) unemotional about the sale (especially at the beginning of the process).  They do not love your house the way you do and are judging the price on what they would be prepared to pay for it, not what you are prepared to sell it for.  If you can take the personal out of the negotiation and be intelligent in terms of what the market is saying, then the process will be smoother, far less stressful and negotiation can be carried out to give you the best price the market can deliver.  

Look at your house though the eyes of a buyer

New listings receive the most attention in the first three weeks.  Do not wait until you see your home on the internet to fix the little things that have been nagging you (or you have been nagging someone else 🙂 ) to get fixed. 

Set aside two whole days to give the attention to your home that it deserves. Like most things is life, it is easier for a third party to see flaws than it is for us to see them. If you don’t want to or can’t afford to  employ a stylist, ask a friend who’s taste and advice you trust to take a few hours to write a checklist of eye sores or problems.  This will take the emotion out of hearing from a buyer that there are “just too many issues”.  

Apply the AirBnB Principle

Think as though someone is going to move in for the weekend. I’m sure you would not want anyone rifling through your personal belongings or questioning your personal taste and asking “what were they thinking?” in their review of their stay.  Think and apply neutral colours and go for more conservative furnishings that have more widely held taste than personality. 


Not all home sales have to be arduous. If you apply all the principles to a healthy home sale and list with a good agent, you just might find you can even enjoy the process! Go with your head, not your heart. Work with statistical evidence and market feedback rather than emotional baggage and you will be just fine….