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The Seven Stages/Steps of Selling your Home

April 11, 2011

I had the pleasure of selling a house for an older couple last year. They had lived in the home for 47 years and raised four kids all of whom have moved out of the area. As their health began to deteriorate it became increasingly apparent that they needed to sell their home and move closer to family. I had dealt with older clients in the past and knew from experience that they needed to be treated with extra care. The process of buying and selling a house has changed greatly over the past decade. Today things are much more complicated and I know how quickly and easily people can get overwhelmed. This couple was no different. I set out to make the experience as stress free and smooth as possible. I gave them my Plan of Action which is an Individualized Comprehensive Listing Plan. It covers such topics as:

  • what needs to be done prior to listing the property,
  • what to expect when it is listed
  • what to do when you get an accepted offer.

Also included in the plan is a list of what I like to call The seven stages/steps of selling your home.

I usually get a lot of strange looks when I show my clients this last one but I explain to them that over the years I have observed many of them going through some, if not all of the experiences/emotions listed in the plan.

I came up with the idea of creating the list to let them know

#1) They are not alone

#2) Give them strategies to help them work through some of the bumps in the road they might experience.

#3) To let them know that everyone experiences at least some of these.

It mimics the seven stages of Death and Dying made famous by Kubler-Ross. This works for both Buyers and Sellers.

The seven stages/steps of selling your home.

  1. Delusion – Thinking your house is worth far more than the identical house that just sold down the block. Thinking people will see past the Shag Carpeting and Wood Paneling. For buyers it is offering 50% off the list price and expecting the sellers to be grateful for your generous offer.
  2. Shock– That you haven’t gotten any offers and the showings have stopped after only a few weeks. Buyers- You can’t believe the home owners didn’t accept your offer and are puzzled why they didn’t at least counter you.
  3. Anger– That the house is not selling and taking your frustrations out on your Agent. After all You don’t want to “give it away”! Buyers are angry that the home owners didn’t accept their offer (they thought this was suppose to bea “Buyers “market).
  4. Bargaining– Getting the idea that maybe you can sell the house yourself or another agent might be the trick to selling.Buyers might try to negotiate a deal by themselves or look for FSBO(s).
  5. Guilt – You start to think that maybe you should have taken the advice your Agent gave and priced your home more competitively or accepted the offer that was a “good” one. For buyers you start to think – maybe I should have offered more money.
  6. Depression/ Desperation – Starting to think that your home will never sell and thinking maybe you should take it off the market. Buyers – thinking you will never find the house of your dreams at a price you want to pay.
  7. Acceptance – This goes for both Buyers and Sellers – Finally taking the advice from the professional you hired which leads to the sale/purchase of your home.


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