This holiday season may be the last one many families will spend in their homes – places filled with love, memories, and strong emotional ties.
At some stage you too may be faced with the difficult decision to sell your long-time abode, and this can be a tussle between head and heart.
You will probably struggle with thoughts of strangers replacing your photographs with their own, and painting over your children’s height measurements; making meals and socialising in the same kitchen where you spent hours laughing with friends and relatives; or spending hours splashing in the swimming pool where you, or your children or grandchildren, spent your summers.
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This time will come in most home owners’ lives. And it will undoubtedly be a bitter-sweet experience.
So how do you get through the process of selling your home of many years without second guessing yourself, or feeling regretful? The chances are that you won’t. But these tips may make the process easier:
- Make sure you are ready to sell
Although it is unlikely you would have made this decision on a whim, ensure you have thoroughly considered it. Do you really have to sell your home, or can you overcome any of the reasons which are leading you to put it on the market? Is it the only option? If not, consider how you can change your circumstances so you can stay where you are. And if you decide that you have to sell, or really want to, then make peace with your decision before you start the process.
- Enlist the services of an estate agent you trust
Working closely with an estate agent will help keep the sales process moving along, even during periods in which you may feel reluctant to continue. An experienced agent would have worked with sellers like yourself before, and know how to handle your emotions sensitively while still finding you a buyer – and hopefully one whom you know will appreciate your home for everything it was and all it can still be.
- Remember why you are selling
Unless you are being forced to sell your home, you have made the decision for a reason. So focus on that reason. If there are any negatives to your home, try to remember them instead of being overwhelmed by all the positives that you will be losing. If it is a matter of your needing to sell in order to move to another area or region, remind yourself why you need to do that. At the same time get excited about your new journey in your new home, and look forward to creating new memories.
- Keep busy and plan for your next step
If you are going to be moving away from family and friends, spend this time with them. If you are relocating to a new area, investigate it thoroughly. Or if you are just moving to a nearby property think about how you can decorate and furnish it. It also helps to focus on elements of your new home that you may not have been able to enjoy in your current one, or consider creating spaces that your old home did not allow for. Keep your mind busy with ideas on how to make your new property your home. If you are moving to a new area, province, or even country, there are a number of lifestyle changes that you can plan for that will keep your spirits up. So look ahead instead of back.
- Reminisce and celebrate your home for what it was
Don’t bottle up your emotions. Rather, remember your home fondly. Talk, smile, and laugh – cry too, if you need to – about the memories you made in your home with those you made them with. It also helps to have a final braai or get-together with those close to you so that you can shut this chapter together and enjoy your home for possibly the last time. And take lots of photographs. Remember, where one door closes, another one opens – and literally, in this case.