Column: If You Want to Sell Your House … You Have to Let Go

If You Want to Sell Your House … You Have to Let Go

During my career as a Realtor, I have noticed a common obstacle that sellers face – they are too attached.

It’s perfectly understandable. After growing up in a house, raising children in a house, and adding countless personal touches, it becomes a “home.” Nostalgia makes it hard to see things from the buyer’s perspective.

When it is time to sell, you need to take a step back and go back to thinking of it as a house – just brick and mortar.

Here are a few ways you can disassociate yourself from your house before you begin the process of selling. 

  • In an article called How to Prepare your House For Sale, Elizabeth Weintraub wrote, “Say to yourself, ‘This is not my home, it is a house – a product to be sold much like a box of cereal on the grocery store shelf.’”
  • Create distance by imagining handing the keys to someone else. 
  • Remember that a buyer wants to imagine living there. Make it easier for them to do that by putting your pictures, memorabilia, books and knick-knacks into storage.
  • Don’t take it personally when someone points out a flaw in the property that might turn off a potential buyer. It is not an insult, but rather an opportunity to increase the perceived value.

Checklists make it less personal

Real estate agents are trained to walk you through all the steps that it will take to make your home ready for the market. We do our best to do this in a diplomatic manner, but homeowners sometimes take it personally when Realtors point out things like noticeable pet odors and excessive clutter.

Ask your Realtor to bring a checklist of everything that needs to be done. When everyone is looking at a checklist, you won’t feel judged when it’s time to check for odors near the garbage disposal. It will simply feel like a task that needs to be completed.

Editor’s note: Karen Hawkins is a Realtor at Zia Realty Group in Los Alamos and can be reached at (505) 690-1112, (505) 662-8899 or or visit


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