Dealing With Seller’s Remorse

Patti Newton August 29, 2017

A fairly common occurrence, buyer’s remorse happens when someone makes a large purchase, such as a home, and feels regret afterwards. But have you heard of seller’s remorse? Also normal, those selling a home may feel regret or anxiety stemming from their impending home sale. If you’re starting to feel seller’s remorse, here’s what you can do to deal with it.

Prepare emotionally before the sale

Seller’s remorse often happens when a seller feels an emotional attachment to a home. It’s understandable, given that your home is where your life happens, the barn is where your children nurtured their love of horses, and you likely have many memories of happy times in those places. If you want to avoid seller’s remorse, start emotionally preparing yourself and your family for the sale now. Make a list of why this home isn’t perfect for you at this time, and why you need to move on. Allow yourselves some time to grieve for what you’re leaving behind which is a totally normal response. If you have the luxury of time before your sale, start the process of letting go early on.

Know your reasons for selling

You’re more likely to experience seller’s remorse if you don’t have solid reasons for moving. This could include feeling like you should sell now because the market is hot, or thinking you should downsize because friends your age are doing it. If you don’t have a compelling reason to sell, you might get cold feet when it comes time to sign on the line. On the other hand, if you’re selling because you need more space, you’re relocating for a new job, or your circumstances are changing due to a divorce, you’re far less likely to experience remorse. Even if you do feel pangs of regret, your reasons for moving will allow you to proceed more confidently with the sale.

Focus on your future

It’s tough to say goodbye, especially if you really loved the time you spent in your home and barn. If you’re feeling blue, remind yourself of what lies ahead. Focus on the positive aspects of your future. Start researching your new neighborhood and make plans for your new home. How will you  make your new barn better than the one you left behind? Find reasons to get excited about this next chapter of your life and include your children in the process. Remind yourself that your feelings are going to be strong during the selling process, but will settle down once the sale is complete and you’ve moved on. And remember,your feelings are completely natural and give yourselves time to work through them.

Work with an agent you trust

One of the best ways to help alleviate seller’s remorse is to work with a real estate professional you trust. Your agent is your partner and your advocate, and can help you navigate the complexities of the selling process. Unlike you, a good agent will be able to maintain an emotional detachment and treat the sale like a business transaction. Working with someone you trust means you have someone to help you make tough decisions, and  will also be compassionate about your feelings, especially after having worked with many sellers in the past who have gone through the same challenges.

Remember, seller’s remorse remains a common reaction to the home-selling process. By doing your emotional homework and focusing on the future, you can get through this trying time and leave your old home behind without any lasting regrets.

Compliments of Carol & Patti

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