Are You Sure You're Ready To Sell?

In hot markets with sky high real estate prices, it can be highly tempting to sell your home: perhaps you’re ready to downsize, move to a quieter area, or simply “cash in” on favorable market conditions while they last.

These are legitimate reasons to sell a home, but they fail to capture the emotional process of pulling up one’s roots and resettling elsewhere—and our experience shows that failing to take this process into account can have serious consequences.

A True Cautionary Tale

The following is a true story from within our real estate network.

After two years of back-and-forth with a realtor, a seller (who will remain nameless) decided she was ready to put her home on the market. She did her contract due diligence, sitting down for hours with her realtor. After an open house, the bids poured in, and she sold her home for the highest price of any in that ZIP code. So far, so good...

Despite her long period of deliberation, this seller was not emotionally prepared for what came next. Even though the sale was official, she decided she was not ready to part with her home, and attempted to reverse the decision.

Let’s switch perspective: the buyer in this situation just paid a significant amount for a new home—in addition, it’s likely they lost other offers on the way to winning this one. This did not put the buyer in a charitable mood. They had made a winning bid, and now they wanted their new home.

A Conclusion Without Winners

As the buyer and seller fought for the home, litigation went on for 4 years. Ultimately, the judge ordered the home to be sold and the seller to pay all attorney’s fees, which had become astronomical over so much time.

This poor seller lost her home, and had only legal bills to show for it—all because she wasn’t truly ready to part with her property.

Don’t Underestimate “Goodbye”

While this case may be extraordinary, experience shows that sellers often fail to appreciate the full emotional weight of leaving a place they called home for years, if not decades. If you think you’re ready to make a sale, be certain it isn’t just dollar signs motivating your decision, or you could be making a very expensive mistake.

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