Emotional Pitfalls to avoid when Selling


It’s easy to become attached to your apartment.  You live there, it gives you shelter, you made memories there, it’s your home.  When it comes to selling, the stakes are too high and the emotional attachment must be broken. If you allow yourself to make decisions based on your attachment you may fall into these pitfalls:

  • Price reduction indecision.  If your apartment was priced based on your sentimental attachment to the property it could be priced too high.  When your broker recommends a price reduction, it is generally because the apartment is not getting enough traffic, or the right kind.  Delaying a decision about a reduction results in more days on the market, and often desperation as the number of days climbs to a level that is inconsistent with the comparable sales within the neighborhood and price range.  A reduction in price widens the pool of available buyers, and is not a decision to be taken lightly.  The best way to combat the indecision is to have a plan in place before the need arises.  Your broker will be able to guide you and provide you with information before the time comes.  He or she would not recommend a price reduction if they didn’t think it was warranted, and in your best interest.
  • Excessive attachment.  The buyers won’t figure into their price the fact that your baby grew up in that apartment or that it was your Grandma’s apartment way back when.  They are looking at plaster and floors, kitchens and baths.  While the stories may be compelling buyers will not pay extra for your memories.  Your decision to sell must be faced in a business-like manner.  If you are excessively attached to your home, you might be inclined to overprice it, disregard your broker’s staging advice; be irrational about negotiations about price or repairs; or fail to respond to market feedback.
  • Ignoring your target market needs.  Your broker will be able to help you with this part.  If your target market is pied-a-terre or young professionals because of size or location, make sure that audience is captured by integrating these points in your marketing; i.e. proximity to subway and other mass-transit, great neighborhood amenities, and built in storage.
  • Celebrating too soon.  It’s tempting to look at national market data and conclude that over asking price offers or multiple offers are the norm.  But it’s not sold until the deal actually closes.  Sellers who ‘celebrate too soon’ run the risk of losing out on a deal because they might fail to stage the apartment properly or fail to do the tasks recommended by their broker to ready the apartment for showings; overprice the apartment; not keep up the appearance of the apartment for showings; or spend the proceeds of their sale before the buyer’s financing and inspections are pending and before the deal closes.  Sometimes deals fall apart.  You need to work with your broker and follow their lead when it comes to the progress of the sale.
  • Price confusion.  Fair market value is defined as what someone is willing to pay for a given item at a given time.  A good way judge is to review comparable sales with your broker to determine a fair market price.  Set the listing price after you’ve been presented with the evidence.    Do not make the listing price decision based on what you think you need to ‘get out’ of the apartment or based on what is next in your life.  Pricing decisions are best made with the cold eye of a business person making a deal.

Inspired by Trulia article by Tara-Nicholle Nelson

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