There are a lot of people that begin to consider selling their house at this time of year, and begin to prepare for what the timing might look like around that. For some this is an exciting venture as it can mean a new beginning, a better neighbourhood, perhaps a different sized house, and all of the adventure that surrounds that. For others it can feel a lot different. Perhaps there was a loss in the family through death or divorce that necessitates the move. Maybe there are family members that really do not want the change in location. And then there are those that will experience all of those emotions in their move! Add in the current market in the Vancouver area, and selling and/or buying a house can wreak havoc on our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.
If you are considering a move in the near future, I would encourage you to pay attention to the emotions that you are feeling. Consider what you need to care for yourself as you begin this adventure. What do you need to feel supported and to manage the change in your life?
Pamela Hiemstra is a realtor in the White Rock/South Surrey area, and she was shares some insight into the emotions around a move.
Real estate was always an exciting adventure for me and my family. The experiences were always positive and self-inflicted as we sought more space, more land, or better neighbourhoods. We always jumped for joy when a home sold, and giggled with excitement when the keys to our next home were turned over. These have all been positive memories for me!
Once I decided to get into the business myself I knew I was going to be invested. I was excited to start showing clients their new future dreams and I was excited to build relationships that would last years. All of this “excitement” I thought was going to be full of smiles, hugs and happiness from each client. Then I met “Joan” (not really her name). She didn’t want to sell her long-time family home. Each of her three children grew up here, and now came back with their kids in tow for a Sunday dinner and a swim. She had to sell because her love, her partner since she was 15, had passed away in their home after a long, hard battle with cancer. It was 10 months after his passing and she needed to downsize for financial reasons. She was devastated. There was no small, friendly coffee talk. There were long sobs, lots of quite pauses, lots of resistance and large amounts of fear. She leaned on me to help walk her through a really tough experience, and I was her safety net. We became close as the process moved forward. At times, I found myself thinking how amazing and humbling this journey was but how wildly different it was from what I had imagined. It really opened my eyes to how much a home can become like an appendage for some and how losing that home can be traumatic. It takes time, patience and a whole lot of caring to help these people through the moving process. That’s when I truly knew I loved my job. I loved the relationships and the feeling that somehow I might have made someone’s difficult moments a little easier.
Don’t get me wrong, I loooove the really happy moves too. The key dance, the dreams being fulfilled and those great big thank you hugs. But I also have begun to love the gift I have in journeying alongside each of my clients as they navigate the process of selling and buying, the reasons they are moving and the emotions that arise out of this process.
As you consider a move, consider the following tips:
1. Give yourself time. If you are able, try to give yourself 8-12 weeks for the whole process.
2. Get organized. Make a list of what all needs to be done, and then divide that between the time that is available to you so that it is manageable.
3. Get rid of the clutter. Staging, and then packing (and unpacking) is so much easier if you take the time beforehand to declutter first.
4. Get help. What do you need to make this process easier? Do you need meals brought to you? Someone to help you clean or pack? Someone to cry with? Now is the time to call on your friends and family to help support you in this adventure.
5. Get enough sleep and food. This is not the time to skip meals or pack into the wee hours. Be kind to yourself and pay attention to your physical needs. You will thank yourself for it as you sleep in the new house for the first time!
6. Get prepared to feel unsettled. Even if this is an exciting move, life will feel chaotic for a while, both as you prepare to move, and then as you unpack. How do you handle stress in other areas of your life? Draw on those techniques and utilize them over this period.