Making a move isn’t just about preparing your home for listing. It’s about preparing yourself and your family as well. It can be a very emotional experience for most people.
In my 29 years working in real estate, I’ve seen it all. Young families leaving their “starter home” for more space and better schools. Couples whose youngest child has just gone off to college, leaving their large “nest” feeling too big and painfully empty. Grandparents who need to downsize to a smaller home without stairs that meets their current needs.
There is a perfect home in a perfect location for every season of life. But, the fact remains, that even when it’s the right move for you and your family—doesn’t mean it’s an easy move for you and your family.
The sadness of handing over the keys to the house you’ve spent time and money renovating to your family’s exact specifications. The thought of leaving behind the only home your children have ever known and markings on the wall that tracked their height over the years. The feeling of distress as you realize you won’t be able to prune the garden you’ve spent countless hours growing and nurturing over the years.
There may be sadness, or even grief, when making meaningful moves.
As my clients take the leap to move themselves and/or their family to a new home, this is my advice to them:
Talk it Out
With each other…and with your broker partner! When you’re working with the right broker, they will be there to hear each and every one of your concerns and address them.
Having open dialog among every member of the family can be a very helpful part of the process. If you have younger or school-aged children, I always recommend allowing them to voice their concerns or talk about what they feel when they think about moving.
Assure them that they are not alone in these feelings. Oftentimes when every member of the family feels heard, it can help subdue some of the anxieties about leaving a familiar home behind.
Spend time talking about the new home you are searching for. Focusing on what you’re gaining instead of what you’re leaving behind is a helpful way to combat feelings of sadness or homesickness. Pro Tip: Think you may have found the right home to purchase?
Invite your children along on the second showing to allow them to feel involved in the decision and give them the opportunity to imagine themselves in the new home.
Eye on the Prize
During an emotional home sale, I always remind my clients that they are selling the property…not the memories made there. The memories and any accompanying photos are the things you get to take with you wherever you end up.
I urge my clients to focus on the why. “Why is this a meaningful move for you?” I’m often met with answers like:
- We want our kids to be in xyz school district – to which I respond: don’t worry, we will find you a great home in that district.
- We love our house, but it’s just not big enough to meet our needs anymore – to which I respond: don’t worry, we will find you a larger home that has the design that meets the needs of your growing family.
- It’s just me now and it’s too much house to take care of – to which I respond: don’t worry, we will find you the perfect place to call home for this new season of life.
Often, a simple reminder to focus on the good that will come with your new home is the best way to combat homesickness during the selling process. Your current home has served you well—why else would you be so sad to leave? But, the future awaits. And keeping your eye on the prize—that new home that is the perfect match for your current season of life—is critical in preparing yourself to make meaningful moves.