Saying Goodbye To Your Family Home...How To Prepare

Dated: April 4 2019

Views: 126

It’s easy to tell yourself that your house is just a building made of walls and ceilings and light fixtures and flooring, but when it comes time to sell, you may start to feel the sting of grief.

After all, you don’t know if the new owners will take care of the rows and rows of brilliant iris that line the fence in the spring or if they’ll cut down the crepe myrtle because they don’t realize it waits for the first kiss of summer heat to spring back to life.

Will they paint your son’s former bedroom and cover up the mural he spent so much time creating? Will they take out the built-in desk and bookcases you made for your daughter?

Maybe saying goodbye isn’t the easy process you thought it would be.

Selling Your Family Home is a Type of Loss

When you’re selling your family home, it’s not just a building that you’re saying goodbye to. It’s all the memories you made there, the familiariarity and, maybe most importantly, the security of that one place you could always fall back to if life started kicking you too hard. This goes for the house that you raised your kids in as well as the house where you were raised — both are genuine losses.

“You’re dismantling something that was once precious, and you have to go through grief and mourning when this happens.” psychologist Dr. Arthur Kovacs explained in an interview with the Chicago Times.

Of course, that’s only part of the story. Another element that makes it so hard to quit a family home is the link between memory and physical space. When your memories are tangled in with your home, it can be hard to let go.

“We have memories and associations that are connected to all of those things that make houses so heavily connected to ourselves,” Duke University’s department of psychology and neuroscience chair, Dr. Scott Huettel, goes on to explain the phenomenon to the New York Times.

Easing Into Selling Your Family Home

Much of the time when you’re looking to sell a family home, it’s due to a big change in life. Maybe your kids have all left home and you’re planning to downsize or maybe your parents have died and you’re having to liquidate their estate. No matter the reason, it’s one of the hardest things you can do, even if you think you’re totally prepared.

How do you get ready for such a big sacrifice? It’s all about your mindset. Start to detach from the house by taking down and packing anything that’s personal. This includes photos, crafted decorations, paintings and so forth. As you take these things off the walls, the space starts to become more generic, less personal and it gets easier to consider selling the house.

If you’re still feeling the pain at this point, work on other parts of the house. Remember that crack in the wall from four years ago when the game controller flew from your daughter’s hand and hit the drywall at full force? Patch that up. Your buyer probably won’t even notice it, but you will. Sterilize your home until you can bear to sign the papers

When the Offer Comes Through

The day will come that you get an offer. Resist the urge to flat out reject it, no matter the price. This is where the rubber meets the road — it’s now grossly apparent that you’re selling the house you poured so much of yourself into rather than just thinking about it.

It’s time for a wake.

Maybe you’d be better to call it a “remembrance party” or something a little cheerier, but the whole point is to say goodbye in a big way so you can get the closure you need. Some people go room by room to have one last good walk down memory lane, others celebrate by doing something they hadn’t gotten around to doing, like hosting a luau.

Your goodbye will be best if you do it in a way that’s meaningful to you and your family. There aren’t really any shortcuts when it comes to grief, unfortunately. Don’t beat yourself up, it’s not “just a house.” That’s the building that sheltered and protected you year after year. That’s the stuff that attachment is made of.

When You’re Ready to List…

The market’s heating up even as you’re reading this blog. If you’ve been thinking about downsizing, this is a great time to sell that big home and move into something more energy efficient and easier to care for. You’re not alone in your efforts, my team has your back all the way. With the best real estate agents, movers, handymen, painters and other home pros at your disposal, your sale will go smoothly so that all you have to focus on is your last hurrah in your home.

#Seller

Blog author image

Jeff McIntyre

For nearly 16 years Jeff has served the Greater Shiawassee Area through his real estate business and volunteering his time. Recently Jeff acquired his broker's license and along with his wife Missy,....

Latest Blog Posts

Understanding The Home Selling Timeline

Have you been thinking about selling your house but aren’t sure how to get started? In this video, I’m going to give you all the answers and details you need to get started. I’ll

Read More

BOO! 2020 Halloween Coloring Contest!

HALLOWEEN COLORING CONTEST 2020!Everyone is a winner!RULES:1) Choose and print your coloring sheet.2) Put your full name on the sheet.3) Color your sheet.4) Take a pic of the sheet (preferably with

Read More

What Has The Genesee County Real Estate Market Been Like The Last 14 Days? September 17, 2020

What does it mean when the number of homes listed in a 2 week period can not keep up with the number of homes pending and sold?It means that we are in a VERY INTERESTING market.Interest rates are at

Read More

Shiawassee, Genesee, Saginaw, and Lansing Area Agents: We Are On The Grow And Adding To Our Sales Team

Real Estate Buyer Sales AgentJEFF MCINTYRE GROUP @ EXP REALTY SHIAWASSEE COUNTY & Surrounding areas, MI USAPPLY FOR THIS JOBJeff McIntyre Group @ eXp RealtyWe’re searching

Read More