If an Englishman’s home is his castle, his family home is undoubtedly his Buckingham Palace. They’re unimaginably precious to us, holding our memories and identities, biro-drawn height charts, and idiosyncrasies that estate agents can’t begin to appreciate the value of. This, of course, makes the prospect of selling all the harder. So what do you need to consider when selling? We’d start by doing the following…
1. Detach and de-sentimentalise. First, and foremost, practise a bit of emotional detachment: consider it the ultimate in decluttering. By letting go of material possessions (in this case, almost all of them at once and the brickwork, oak floors and Farrow and Ball paint too), you can free yourself for new adventures and space for new memories. It’s hard to walk around the rooms our children grew up in and see them as little more than selling points, but removing the romanticism will help you to start a new chapter.
2. Persuade your family members to do the same. You might be surprised (or not, depending on how vocal your offspring usually are) to find that grown up children are the most resistant to selling the family home… the very walls hold a great deal of power over kids who have flown the nest, even if they now have children themselves. Throughout tumultuous break ups, career moves and milestones, the building and its contents (and you within it) has been their one constant point of reference. Give everyone plenty of time to come around to the idea, and warn them when professional photos and for sale signs are going up: it will come as less of a shock.
3. Decide how you’re going to sell it, and to whom. How are you going to make a sale? Will you enlist the services of We Buy Any House, or offer it to the highest bidder at an auction? Would you feel most comfortable using an estate agent, or would you prefer to make a sale via a private agreement? Decide on the hows and whos of selling, as this will help to make handing over the deeds feel like the right decision.
4. Have an interim plan. Doubtless you’re on the precipice of change: be it travelling, downsizing or renting. Make sure you have somewhere to go and a way of funding your lifestyle until you’re settled into your new normal. Sales can take a while and things can get expensive if events don’t unfold as you’re expecting, so have a back up plan and a place to stay.
5. Be clear about what you want for the future. It’s no good selling if it feels like a poor exchange, so before you put it on the market, be very clear about what you want your next place to look like. Where will it be? How big is it? What input does it require from you to make it feel like it’s yours? Who will visit? How will it fit into your life going forward? Write a list of answers responding to questions like these. If you feel happy about where you end up next, you’ll feel more at peace about selling your family home to someone else.
Disclosure: This post was brought to you in collaboration with We Buy Any Home. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make JuggleMum possible.