Selling your home is an emotional decision
Insights Team, January 28, 2019

As human beings, we make attachments to everything – to people, places and memories – which is why selling your home can be an emotional journey. Here are a few Leadhome pointers to help you get through the process with ease . . .

You’ve heard the cliché “home is where the heart is”, and for many people, that’s so true. Our homes are where our memories are created and treasured. So much so that it sometimes feels like little parts of us are absorbed into the spaces we love; be it the garden where we hang out on long summer afternoons, the kitchen where thousands of meals have been prepared, or our favourite room where the sun shines in and warms us on cold, wintry days.

It’s normal for people to be attached to the places in which they live. And it’s very normal to have conflicted feelings when you are deciding to sell your home. There are sometimes quite a few steps along the route to selling your home:

Making the decision

Do we or don’t we sell? People sell their homes for many reasons. Financial pressure and the need to downsize may be one; emigration to another country or moving to another province is another. Or simply upgrading your lifestyle. But whatever your reason, you need to seriously weigh up the pros and cons, check the hard facts, and consider the alternatives. Once you have given the decision space to breathe, then you can find peace, knowing that you’re making the right choice.

Local psychologist Martin Scheepers warns that one should be cautious about making any big decisions after any kind of emotional turmoil. He says, “Making major decisions after experiencing a trauma of any kind is not a good decision – and selling a home is a major decision. First, you need to integrate/deal with the trauma and if you still want to sell, then go ahead and make the decision. The key is to be in a ‘stable’ emotional space before committing to sell.”

Once the decision to sell has been made you may go through a range of emotions – anything from feeling sad and nostalgic about leaving your much-loved home, to regret and perhaps even a spot of anger (let’s say you feel pushed to move for financial reasons). Scheepers says it’s very important to get in touch with whatever you’re feeling: “Don’t analyse your feelings or try to change them, simply acknowledge them”.

Celebrate what has come before

He also says that selling your home, particularly one in which you have grown up in, or one that your young family has grown up in – symbolises the end of an era and that sometimes it is useful to do something that symbolises closure.  Scheepers says, “When my folks downsized their home (they’d lived there for 50 years) I found as many photos and slides as I could from the time it was just a piece of land to the building of the house to the family functions and events over the years to pictures of friends and good times – and made a DVD”.

Finding ways of acknowledging and celebrating the passage of time, could not only be a good way for the family to find emotional closure, but also to allow everyone to look forward to the future, having acknowledged the past.

Time to take action 

You’ve made the decision, given yourself time to process the idea of selling, now it’s time to take action. How to get your home on the market and decide on price – do you go the traditional estate agent route or try to sell privately, OR should you consider one of the innovative property disruptors like Leadhome? Of course, we are biased (and here is where our sales pitch comes in) but the Leadhome model means that you have some independence in terms of the sale of your home, but you get all of the support and latest, up-to-date information that you need to ensure you’re getting the right price.

Prepare your home 

In order to sell, it’s a good idea to get your home in tip-top shape. Do what budget allows – if you can afford a fresh lick of paint, to fix the roof, or to take care of any other repairs, then do so. Over and above that you need to prepare your home to be ‘view worthy’ – i.e. as neat and tidy as possible. Make a little bit of extra effort in terms of aesthetics and cleanliness to create a good first impression.

Know that you’re on a journey 

Some homes take a long time to sell, others sell quickly. Prepare yourself for the fact that it’s a process, be patient and don’t have unrealistic expectations. Communicate with your Leadhome local property expert about any advice, reservations or questions you may have. It’s very important to keep the lines of communication open so that the experience is seamless and as rewarding as possible.

Embracing a new chapter in your story

Letting something go, whether it’s a house you’ve loved or an area you’re comfortable in, can bring about a myriad of emotions. It’s okay, and it’s all part of the process.

And when your home is sold, remember to take a few moments to bless the space in which you’ve lived and loved, and send good vibes to those who will live there after you. This, in turn, will pave the way for the transition to be a happy and fulfilling one. Remember that at the end of the day, home is really about the people you care about – it’s what you take with you – and not about bricks and mortar.

This post has been edited to accurately reflect our current business model.

Insights Team
We're the "thinking arm" of Leadhome, combining expertise in data analysis, modelling, sociology, geography, and philosophy to interrogate current trends in the South African residential property market. Proudly contemplative since 2015.

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