If you’re planning on selling your home, you’re likely feeling a little anxious. And you’re not alone – in a recent survey of Australian property owners, over half said that selling their home was one of the most stressful situations of their life!
While it’s true that selling and moving house can certainly raise your stress levels, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. With a little preparation, the right support and a few simple self-care techniques, you can eliminate much of the stress and anxiety that often comes with selling your home.
So, if the mere thought of navigating the sales and settlement process is enough to see you break out in a cold sweat, read on to learn six ways to reduce stress and anxiety when selling your home.
1. Know What to Expect
One of the biggest stressors when selling your house can be a fear of the unknown, especially for first-time sellers. The best way to decrease stress of this type is to give yourself a full understanding of the process. Ideally you should speak to a professional who has experience selling homes successfully such as an agent, conveyancer or solicitor (or all of the above) and only use reputable websites to gather information.
As a starting point, here are some of the key steps and considerations you should cover off during your research and discussions:
Know the cost: Understanding the fees associated with selling your home upfront will avoid the stress of being hit with unexpected bills during the process. This may include government charges, sales commissions, marketing fees, legal costs and the expense of cleaning, repairing, renovating or staging your home.
Understand the value: Having a realistic idea of the value of your property and what you can expect to sell your home for is key to avoid disappointment and complications. You can find out roughly how much your home is worth by looking at recent sales of properties similar to yours in the local area, but for a more accurate picture it’s best to organise a professional valuation on your home.
Find the right people: The professionals you’ll need to engage to help you successfully sell your home usually include a sales professional or real estate agent to manage the sale and a conveyancer to handle the legal documents. You may also need to organise tradies or stylists to prepare your property for sale.
Timing and method: Being clear about how and when to list your property is a must. Is there a certain time of year when you might maximise your selling price? And will you choose to sell via auction or private treaty sale? If you’re unsure, your agent or sales professional can offer guidance and advice.
Settlement length: Understanding how long the sale and settlement will take will help you plan more effectively. While it does vary, it can often take two to three months for the settlement to be finalised and for you to receive the proceeds of the sale. Alternatively, there are some companies (such as Sellable) that offer a streamlined process which allows you to be paid upfront on the day you move out (even if your home has not sold yet).
2. Be Open and Flexible
Having unrealistic expectations of the value and sale price of your home creates a massive roadblock to a smooth process. Add to this a refusal to be flexible and negotiate and you have a recipe for a lengthy, stressful and potentially disastrous experience!
While everybody has an ideal price in mind that they’d like to achieve, what you are hoping for may not be aligned with how the market and potential buyers value your home. Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to be a walk over or accept offers that are unreasonable. However, it’s important to be open to the idea that your initial expectations may not match the reality. Putting the groundwork into preparing your property for sale and partnering with the right people to handle negotiations can help to put your mind at ease that you are getting maximum value.
3. Look After Yourself
No matter how well you mentally prepare yourself for the sale of your home, it will still take an emotional toll. Successfully navigating the sales process, the purchase of your new home, moving into the new house, not to mention securing finance, is enough to exhaust anyone!
Leading a healthy lifestyle during this time is crucial. When you are eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising, your body and mind will have the energy and stamina it needs to get through with a smile on your face. This doesn’t need to be a complete overhaul – just making a few smart choices and being consistent with your effort can make a huge difference. However, attempt to tackle the sale of your home when you’re not at your peak, and you’ll likely feel the stresses that much more.
4. Prepare Your Home
An important way to decrease your stress levels when selling your property, is to put the effort into preparing your house for sale. When you are confident your home is being shown in the best light possible, you’ll encourage more buyer interest and significantly increase your chance of achieving a high sale price.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some simple but effective tips for preparing a house for sale:
Clear the clutter: If you are still living in the house while it’s on the market, this should be at the top of your list. Remove any unnecessary items from each room to create a sense of space and cleanliness.
Hide personal items: Be sure to pack away any personal items such as photos, toothbrushes, etc. prior to any open for inspections, as these can be distracting and off-putting to potential buyers.
Paint your home: If you’re looking to brighten things up, a fresh coat of paint does wonders. Choose clean, neutral colours that will not clash with the style and tastes of potential buyers.
Prioritise repairs: If you have a leaky tap, cracked window, missing door handle or broken tile, fix it now. Putting the effort in to make those repairs can make a big difference to your sale price.
Make it inviting: Sprucing up the front of your property and entrance to your home is a must – remember, first impressions count!
Renovate or revamp: If you have an outdated bathroom or kitchen, and your budget allows, a revamp can add plenty of value.
Style to perfection: A professionally styled home will always look its best and attract more buyer interest. You’d be amazed at how some well-chosen furniture and furnishings can transform your home into something truly spectacular.
5. Get Your Mindset in the Right place
When your thoughts and attitude surrounding the sale of your home are in the right place, you will go a long way towards eliminating stress and anxiety throughout the sales process. On the other hand, if you are constantly thinking ‘selling my house is stressing me out,’ then there’s a very high chance that it will!
While it’s true that selling your home is a huge deal – there’s a lot at stake financially and you’re often juggling finding a new home and moving as well – your attitude and responses to the challenge will inevitably decide how stressful the process is. When you educate yourself and have the right support you can approach the sale with confidence and a positive mindset. This will not only decrease your stress levels, it will also give you the best chance of a favourable result.
6. Partner with The Right People
Perhaps the biggest factor that can make or break your stress levels when you sell is partnering with the right people to manage the sale. Do your research and don’t rush your decision when choosing your agent. Recommendations from friends and relatives is a good place to start, but it’s no guarantee. Meet with any potential agents to see if you click – trust your instincts as they often prove right. Compare the terms and fees of agents to make sure you are getting real value and support too.
Also, be sure to explore all your options. While a real estate agent can work for some, partnering with home sales professionals like Sellable can help to remove much of the anxiety associated with the traditional sales process. You’ll be offered a guaranteed sale price for your home, which can be paid to you fast, even before your property is sold. This removes much of the uncertainty and stress surrounding not only the sale of your existing home, but also the purchase and settlement of your new home. We’ll also invest our money into preparing your house for sale, including repairs, renovations and staging. Then, if your home then sells for more than the guaranteed sales price, you’ll get a share of the upside. This further takes the hassle and worry out of organising trades people and finding the money to pay for the works.
Preparation Is Key – For Your Home and Yourself
Any major life change can be a source of stress and anxiety. But if we prepare ourselves in the best way possible, we give ourselves a far better chance of managing the situation effectively and coming out on top.
If you’re planning on selling your home, don’t get bogged down in negativity worrying about how difficult it will be. Do your research so your expectations are realistic, prepare your home to show it at its best, find the right sales professional to manage the sale and – most importantly – take care of yourself so you are physically and mentally up for this challenging but exciting stage of your life. Begin with a positive and open mind, and chances are you’ll be rewarded with a great end result.
If you’d like to know more about how you can sell your home minus the stress and hassle, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with our team for confidential advice today.