Selling your house is one of the most stressful life events you can experience. It’s not just that there’s a lot of money on the line—it can be distressing because you’ve got all of these memories in the house that you’ll soon say goodbye to. On top of that, preparation for a sale means that you must gather up, rearrange, and in most cases, drastically cull years and years of possessions, many of which have great sentimental value. This process of getting your house ready to sell that requires carefully curating your stuff is emotionally heavy, as it can feel like you’re whittling yourself away to make it a more neutral space.
I get it. It’s gut-wrenching. Most sellers I’ve worked with have been delightful people, very amenable to my suggestions that help them turn their homes into marketable products that buyers will fight over. But when push comes to shove and it’s time to put things in boxes, give things away, or move things around, it’s not unusual for me to encounter resistance. It’s just plain hard to let go of the familiar, which is absolutely understandable.
That’s why I’m now suggesting to sellers who fall into this category to take some time before packing up to celebrate the house and send it off with some blessings or good intentions, or whatever positive emotions and vibes are relevant to them. I don’t suggest too much time—just a day or two of reflection perhaps, and for the extroverted, I recommend ritualizing this celebration/blessing (hey, I do have a PhD in Religious Studies!) with a party. Have your neighbors and friends over for one last hurrah to say “thank you” to the house. This act of good will and generosity will help you make the house great for someone else and heal your heart.
Not everyone will feel they need this. Some sellers are selling because they really don’t like the house. Some people are more stoic or feel like they just want it sold ASAP. But if you’re one of those who feel the tugging conflict of needing to sell but find it emotionally difficult, a party along with some quiet reflection may be just be the ticket to feeling better about doing the necessary. Feel free to contact me for more tips related to overcoming seller paralysis or for examples of good-bye party “rituals.” If you have friends or family who could use my expertise, please send them my info! I truly love helping people.