Letting go of a property you love: tips for dealing with the emotional impact of selling a home you love

Your property may be one of your biggest financial assets and investments, but once you decide to sell, everyone will tell you it’s more of an emotional journey. After all, you’re selling a place you’ve had for a long time with lots of memories tied to it. Here are some suggestions to help you stay resilient through this experience.

1. Shift your perspective from being an owner to a seller.

If you’re apprehensive about selling your property, try to reframe your mindset and start thinking you’re no longer a “homeowner” but a “property seller.” This can help you adopt a more objective attitude toward the process.

Changing your perspective might take time, so don’t be afraid to give yourself a few weeks or months to separate your emotions and set your expectations right. It might be helpful to do some research, such as talking to friends who have sold their properties or reading about other people’s home-selling journeys. 

2. Depersonalize as early as possible

When preparing to list your property for sale, one of the crucial things to do is to remove framed portraits, mementos, travel souvenirs, diplomas — anything personalized. The goal of this process is to make it easier for potential buyers to envision themselves in the home, but it can also help you as a seller to let go. 

3. Redefine your concept of home

Don’t forget the old adage “home is where the heart is” to help you think of home in terms of the people you love rather than a place. Remember that your real home is wherever the people you love are. To honor the role your property played in your lives, you can take photos, revisit old memories with your loved ones, and reminisce about how you all loved living there.

4. Focus on your why

It’s natural to be anxious and stressed about moving. It’s even natural to grieve when thinking about the old memories you’ve had at your home. 

But no matter how hard it seems, remember the reason why you’re selling in the first place and what you’ll gain afterward. List these things out, then look at that list whenever you’re feeling down about relocating. Whatever reason you have — whether to downsize, upsize, for retirement, or just be closer to an adult child or other family members — try to look forward instead of back.

It might be difficult at first. But once you think positively about these changes, you’ll look forward to the new adventure that is moving on.

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