There is no doubt about it. Selling a home is stressful. You have to clean, make repairs, and stage the home – then find the perfect real estate agent to partner with. Once you’ve done all of that, you have to juggle packing for your own move with keeping the home clean and organized for showings. It’s a lot to deal with. So what can you do to keep things relatively calm?
Have Clear Expectations
You need to start by having clear expectations that are communicated to your selling agent. You know what type of sale price you are looking for and have obviously (hopefully) discussed it. You should also know what your worst-case-scenario (or lowest) selling price will be in advance. Make sure you have any pertinent paperwork ready and available. Some of the issues (like a low price) may never come into play, but making all of the possible decisions ahead of time will take off some of the pressure associated with having to make quick choices.
Plan in Advance
Do you have a pet who needs to be removed from the home during a showing? Children? Make advance plans as to where they’ll go, and make sure you have a back-up. Having a list of people you know you can call to dog-sit or babysit for a couple of hours on short notice will be far less stressful than loading the family into the car for an unexpected “evacuation.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Purge
In other words, throw things away while you’re packing. You’ve probably accumulated a lot of “stuff” you haven’t touched in ages. Don’t make excuses about possibly using it or selling it later. If you haven’t used it in the past year, you probably won’t in the next year. Make a pile of items to donate to charity and throw the junky stuff right in the garbage. You’ll be able to get a clean, fresh, de-cluttered start in your new home.
Make a List of Tasks
Make a list of all of the little things that will need to be done – turning off and switching utilities, contacting doctor offices and credit card companies, insurance companies, etc. Prioritize service changes over simple addresses changes. For example, you’ll need to have electricity turned off at your old home and on at your new; have your cable transferred; have a new insurance policy written for the new house. Those things take more time and need more attention, so put them at the top of your list and start early to avoid stress.
Remember to breathe throughout the entire moving process. Talk to your real estate agent if you feel like you’re overwhelmed or aren’t sure what to do next in the buying or selling process.