Buying and selling real estate undisputedly has an emotional element. If you let emotions run you, there is a very good chance everything will fall apart. One of the biggest stumbling blocks in the sale of a home is the emotional reactions of the parties. It doesn’t matter if you are buying, selling, using a real estate agent or handling it on your own. If either party lets emotions rule the day, things will fall apart. If both parties let it happen, the transaction will get very ugly.
For sellers, emotions arise from the fact that they typically have lived in the home for some time. Major life events may have occurred in the property including raising a family, weddings and so on. In simple terms, sellers don’t view the home as a property to be sold. They view it as a part of themselves, which they are letting go like a child going off to college. This personal attachment leads to ruffled feelings when a buyer offers practically any criticism of the property.
… The transaction is a business transaction, not a personal insult to your pride.
For buyers, emotions arise from the conscious or subconscious nervousness about taking on such a big debt. Whether you like to admit it, committing to a ton of debt is a scary experience. Inevitably, this emotion is expressed as suspicion that the seller is trying to pull a fast one or there is something wrong with the property. Regardless of the manifestation, such emotions are the stuff of failed, nightmarish real estate transactions that often end up in court.
For example, a couple I am friends with recently sold a very pricey home they had lived in for over 14 years. Simply put, there were a lot of memories from that time period. On the other side, the buyers were making a major step up in price from their previous home. In fact, they were committing to well over seven figures of debt with their mortgage loan. Put in simple terms, both parties were keyed up and sparks eventually flew.
I will not get into the details in respect for their privacy, but the deal almost fell through over an argument about who got to keep three bar stools. Three…bar…stools. This was a million dollar home! In the end, the seller kept them and then realized they didn’t go with their new home. In retrospect, they now realize that the conflict was idiotic and really had nothing to do with the stools. Instead, it was emotions that almost ruined the day.
If you are going to buy or sell a home, make sure to control your emotions. The transaction is a business transaction, not a personal insult to your pride.