9 Telltale Signs You’re Not Ready to Sell Your Home


The first thought of getting ready to sell your home could get you all giddy inside. You may feel elated over stretching out in a larger home. Or, you dance around with a clenched fist of victory at the prospect of enrolling your kids in the best school district. Then, as the initial euphoria subsides and the process of moving starts to feel real, resistance sets in. Suddenly, you wonder if moving was a good idea. You second guess yourself and try to talk your partner out of the whole "moving thing". Finally, you get your 'Come to Jesus' moment and realize that following through on a promise to yourself, or your partner is the "grown-up" thing to do.

So what makes selling a home so challenging? If you've moved more than once in your life, you know it's hard. Moving is physically demanding. And selling a house is an emotional battle that lasts long before the packed boxes get loaded onto the truck.You know selling your house will benefit you and your family. But, the excuses are mounting. And procrastination sets in. What happened?

Here are 9 signs you're not ready to sell your home, plus the positive reasons not to give up on the idea.

Sign #1

You’re apprehensive about interviewing local real estate agents.

The Positives: A real estate agent that's familiar with your community or town understands the market enough to know how to price your home competitively. With the right agent's professional advice and guidance, you should feel more at ease with the process of marketing your home.

Sign #2

Your moving strategy turns into a list of excuses instead of an intentional plan to move.

The Positives: Schedule a family meeting and choose a target date to list your home. Start backward with specific goals for every room. Assign tasks to everyone in the household. That means recruiting the kids to create a better feeling about moving. When children feel included it can produce a smoother selling process.

Sign #3

You're positive that buyers will not find one weak point about your house since the new kitchen renovation.

The Positives: Yes, a kitchen renovation that appeals to your buyer demographic will draw in buyers. However, a new, all-white kitchen with quartz countertops is not the only thing that buyers take into consideration. A home can increase demand if buyers have an idea how they will fit their furnishings in small bedrooms, or know how to use an unusual nook in a living room.

Sign #4

You're reluctant to move your home office from the dining room. You believe buyers will see the "dual-purpose" of the dining room set up as an office.

The Positives: If the home's original design includes a dining room, help buyers see the value in the room's intended purpose and you'll be handsomely rewarded with more dollar signs. If your buying demographic seeks a home with an office space, designate an extra bedroom or unused den to spark interest.

Sign #5

You refuse to pre-pack your children’s school pictures or the giant stack of craft magazines you promised you'd browse on the weekends.

The Positives: Packing personal items (other extras) first allows you to neutralize the space. Plus, you get a head start on clearing the smaller items for your next home.

Sign #6

You have the budget for interior updates. But, you're convinced home buyers will appreciate that retro interior styles have made a comeback. You figure, if you could live through the eighties wallpaper you never got around to changing, so can your home buyer.

The Positives: Selling a staged home over a personally decorated home normally reduces the time on the market. Buyers appreciate a house they can immediately inject themselves into, not feel like the seller is still living in the house.

Sign #7

You balk at hiring a gardener to maintain the lawn and shrubs. Or, you smirk at hiring a cleaning service.

The Positives: Hiring outside assistance for tasks like regular yard maintenance and house cleaning will free your energy to concentrate on pre-packing items and preparing the interior for sale. You'll be pleasantly surprised how delegating the cleaning and garden maintenance can lift your outlook about the selling process.

Sign #8

You've convinced yourself that your home’s unique exterior colors will grab a buyer’s attention.

The Positives: Selling a home with an 'exotic' color will definitely capture a buyer's attention. If your goal is to take your time to sell your house, wait for that unique buyer who will love it. Alternatively, painting the home's exterior to complement the color palette of neighboring homes will improve curb appeal substantially and encourage more traffic to view the home's interior.

Sign #9

You refuse to move large items from your living room or bedroom because you hope buyer’s see the potential in how much they can fit in the space.

The Positives: Less is more. Storing large furniture pieces early creates extra flow through a home. When buyers are able to move freely, they focus on the major selling points and the advantage of additional square footage. When it's time to extend an offer, the buyer will feel more generous to nab the house before any other home buyer.