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My Best Advice


Selling valued personal property, especially a home, can be hard on one’s psyche.  We bought these items because they met our needs or made us feel good.   We become attached, and it can be hard to let go. Therein lies the biggest challenge for many sellers.

The best advice I give my clients is to change how they view their home when it comes time to sell it.  Strategic, rational thinking should supercede emotional decision making. It helps to think of your home as a financial asset, like a stock or bond. Your goal is to sell that asset at a price and with other contractual terms that best meet your needs. While easier said than done, doing so will allow you to make decisions that further your goal.

By minimizing sentiment, it will be easier to make decisions throughout the selling process. This includes where to spend money to maximize your home’s value, how to decorate to appeal to others, and most importantly, how to negotiate with a potential buyer. When potential buyers tour your home, their realtor is expected to provide feedback on what the buyers liked, and didn’t like, about the property. Sometimes the house is just not right for the buyer.  The kitchen may be too small, the home may lack in-law suite, or it may not be easily retrofitted to accommodate a person with a physical disability.  Fair enough. Other times, feedback is more subjective, and might even offend. The buyer might dislike your color scheme or fabrics, prefer hardwood floors over carpeting, or not appreciate your choice of fixtures or appliances. There is probably a deal to be made here, so don’t be offended. Rather, take a deep breath, and work to overcome the buyer’s objections. For example, you might offer to make some of the requested changes in return for a written purchase commitment. Or, you might shift the home improvement burden to the buyer, by offering to credit the buyer with money at closing to offset the cost of the desired changes.  Or, you might include personal property in the deal, such as appliances, electronics or furniture.

Your objective should be to engage the buyer, and try to negotiate the price and other contractual terms that best meet your needs.