Could Your Emotions Stop You From Selling Your Home?

Selling your home is a hard and stressful experience at the best of times, but it can often get tangled up with personal emotions and sentimentality.  Whilst it’s not easy trying to take an emotional step backwards, it can make a difference in clinching that all-important sale.  Read on to find out more.

Emotional ties. Our home is the place where we formed many memories, where children have grown up and where we spend our time relaxing and socialising, so it’s no wonder that emotions get caught up in the process of trying to sell a house.

For an estate agent trying to market your house for you, and potential buyers who have no history with the house, there are no sentiment or attachments involved, so they are operating on an entirely different level than you.  They will see things differently and will react differently, so if you want to make the process of selling easier, you really need to get into that same mindset.

Once you put your house on the market, you have to take an emotional step backwards and view the house as no longer yours.  Try to view yourself as a businessperson rather than the homeowner, and see the transaction from a financial perspective.

You’ll find it easier to feel less emotionally attached to your house if you try and make it look saleable. This might mean removing personal possessions and sentimental items from view, such as photos and keepsakes. It could also involve rearranging furniture or clearing away items so the house looks more like it’s on show, rather than your home.  It will give prospective buyers an easier way of seeing your house from a more neutral perspective and enabling them to see how they could fit their lives in there.

Don’t take things personally. If you’ve built years of memories in your home, and modelled and furnished it the way you want it to be, it can be soul-destroying to receive negative comments and feedback from prospective buyers about your loving home.  If you’ve spent a lot of money decorating your home in a certain style or bought new oak doors for all the rooms, for example, and potential buyers don’t share the same enthusiasm as you for them, try not to take it personally.  We all have different styles and tastes, and they may just be using this as a ploy to get you to reduce the price.  Try to see it as a positive sign that they are at least open for negotiating.

Money matters. Similarly, try to detach emotions when it comes to the price of your property.  It can be easy to think your home is worth more than the market value because it was special for you, but over-inflating the asking price isn’t going to get you any offers on the table.  Don’t be disheartened if you get really low offers as well.  It’s a good sign that buyers are interested in your property, but they might just be trying to get it for the lowest price possible.

Be realistic as well, though.  If market values have been dropping for a while, then you might end up losing money on your property because of the declining market, which has nothing to do with sentiment and personal attachment.  That doesn’t mean to say you should discard any offers you get.  Remember if you’re selling in a depressed price market, it also means you could buy a house at a reduced rate, as well. 

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About the author:
This guest post was written by Crispin Jones for Principal Homebuyers  – a service that matches sellers and buyers when a quick sale is required. 

Journey of Parenting a Bullied Child

Parenting a bullied child can be traumatizing and make a parent eventually feel like a victim themselves. I found a research article that was recently released describing the journey of 11 parents who had bullied children. Each of these parents went through a similar journey.

Discovery
The process of discovering that the child was bullied happened in different ways. Sometimes the child told the parents directly that they were having serious problems a school. Other times it was discovered through unusual behaviour. For example, one little girl started kicking her cat that she loved. This was a big red flag for the parents.

Advice
The normal next step was to give the child advice about how to manage the situation. Some of the advice given was to be nice to the bully, to avoid the bully, or confront the bully. None of the parents advised a physical altercation. Unfortunately, for the parents in this sample the advice did not work. This is not to say that advice doesn’t work for all parents. I would expect that if advice had worked these parents wouldn’t have been part of this study.

Reporting
As bullying continued or escalated these parents began to report their concern to the school officials. The parents generally first called the school receptionist who directed them to the school counsellor. Unfortunately, these parents found that the school counsellor, while sometimes appearing very concerned, was not effective. Normally the parents did not get a call back and later found out that the higher administration had not been informed and no action had been taken. When they pushed farther, the general experience was that school officials indicated that their “hands were tied.”

One parent in the study actually had a good response. The principal investigated the case by interviewing the children involved and then took action by having the children apologize. The principal also informed the teacher who also intervened by explaining why the behaviour was wrong and asking the children to report any further misbehaviour. The parents in this case felt that the action was appropriate and well done. They did not have further problems. Unfortunately, this was not the experience of most of the parents in the study.

Aftermath
Most of the parents, in the end, were left to manage the situation on their own. They found that the more they complained the more their child was thought of as a “problem”. Some of the parents found that moving their child to an out-of-district school was the best solution. Some others began home-schooling. Unfortunately, some of the parents didn’t have the financial or personal resources to take action and had to watch their children suffer years of abuse. These parents described themselves as feeling victimized themselves. One parent described their experience as being a “living hell.” The researchers were surprised by the amount of emotion that was expressed during interviews. One parent, who was surprised by how strong her emotions still were, cut off contact with the researchers after the first interview. Although it was not part of the research, it is likely that these kinds of stressors can make it difficult for other parts of the parents lives like work and their marriage.

The researchers from this study recommended that parents take action when their children were being bullied. They encouraged parents to continue to go to higher authorities, like the superintendent or school board, until action is taken.

This study aimed to deeply describe the experience of 11 parents. This may not be your experience or even be representative of most parents who have a child who is bullied. However, these experiences have lessons to teach all of us on the difficulty parents can face when their children are bullied and the importance of parents being vigilant, because sometimes schools aren’t there when our children need them.

REFERENCE:
Brown, J. R., Aalsma, M. C., Ott, M. A. (2013). The experience of parents who report youth bullying victimization to school officials. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 28, 494-518.

About the author:
Oakville Wellness Center, A group of therapists who serve in the Winnipeg region.