There are over 1 million property sales in the UK every year. Whilst for some, the buying and selling of property is a business decision, an investment perhaps, for most people emotions will play a big part in the vast majority of these transactions,. So how do you stay logical and rational through the process of selling or buying a house and should you use emotions to your advantage?
The reasons why selling a house or buying one is an emotional process
For the vast majority of people their home is their castle – it is where they spend a lot of their time, the place where long-term relationships are forged and children brought up, and often represents a significant proportion of people’s wealth. So it is no surprise that emotions run high when both selling a house – walking away from years of emotional attachment – and when buying a house – your dream castle for the foreseeable future.
Emotions can run even higher in some case for example if the house is being sold due to death or divorce, or from a buyer perspective, the fear and excitement felt by first-time-buyers plunging their hard earned savings into a property and taking that first step on the housing ladder. These heightened emotions are more common than you might think. Anecdotal experience from the houses we’ve helped to sell via myonlineestateagent.com is that emotions play a noticeable part in the sales process, and most importantly emotions affect the price paid, in about half of cases!
Top tips for dealing with emotions when it comes to property
First of all, accept that emotions play a part – they probably will, and there is no point in trying to avoid the inevitable, which will do nothing but increase your stress-levels. As such, the best strategy is to turn emotions to your advantage, rather than battling against them.
Everybody talks about “valuation” but there is actually no such thing. Yes, a surveyor may come round to the property and quote a “value”, but this is simply an average of prices paid for similar properties in the same area. So don’t get too hung up on valuation – it is nothing more than a figure agreed between what somebody wants to sell for, and what somebody is prepared to buy for. Following this logic, if you are selling a house and receive an offer less than the “value” an estate agent has suggested, don’t immediately turn it away as an insult – see if you can negotiate and agree a price that is acceptable to you, irrespective of what anybody else tells you the property is worth.
Before you start buying or selling, spend time thinking about what you want to achieve. If you are selling is it all about price; or perhaps the ability to trade up or down; or the ability to make a life change.
If you are buying, what is your financial limit; is this a stepping-stone or a long-term solution; what are the most important characteristics of the house you buy. In other words, think about the logic of the transaction beforehand – including the wider factors as well as price – and this will help you to assess each possibility as they come along.
Whilst an estate agent cannot tell you how much to sell or buy for, they can take away the stress of the negotiation. Many people dislike haggling, or negotiating on what is their prized asset, and this is where a high-quality estate agent can offer some logical and rational thinking and work on your behalf to get the best price. But remember, never be pushed into accepting an offer that you don’t believe in!
Take the other party’s position into account. Buyers have different perspectives when they are house-hunting – they won’t see the years of happiness that the house has given to the seller, they will have financial constraints, and they will have a variety of options. As such, if you are selling, show people around with pride, and let them know how great a house it has been. Conversely, if you are buying, respect people’s feelings, and don’t just treat the property as bricks-and-mortar. An amicable negotiation and respect for the other side will make everybody feel better at the end of the process!
Once the property sale has gone through look forwards not backwards. Don’t keep on wondering if you could have got a better price – either as buyer or seller. Personally, I’ve got nothing but fond memories from the dozen or so houses I’ve bought, and every new one opens up another chapter.
Emotions will play a part in just about every house transaction – don’t try and avoid this, but accept it is a factor – in itself this can help you be aware and stop emotions overtaking reason!