Home Seller Remorse: When you love your house and have to sell anyway.

A friend of mine was complaining that she had just landed a career making position, working with a group of people she admired. She was thinking of not taking the job because she’d have to move. This is what I told her:

My husband and I recently lost some of our favorite neighbors; they moved about three and a half miles away. It was a little heartbreaking at first. We had become very good friends with these folks. They had enriched our day to day lives in so many small ways that all added up to the greater sense of how much we love our home.

Jane and Sherman [the neighbors] were in their early sixties and we were in our forties when we moved in next door. After twelve years of backyard barbeques, Christmas parties, taking care of each other’s pets over vacations, borrowing [and returning] tools, helping each other with projects and generally great friend and neighboring, they put their house on the market. It sold in three days. Seriously, three days. Within a month they had closed and the new owners took possession.

When they finally invited us over to their new condo, Jane gave me a big hug and a bit of advice. She told me they missed us, which was nice to hear. We missed them too – still do. She apologized for not inviting us sooner but it had been an enormous adjustment. She said downsizing was difficult because they had spent their whole lives working at “up-sizing.” It wasn’t just the amount of “stuff” they had amassed over twenty six years of living in their old home that held them back, but the idea of their beautiful, huge old home.  And of course, the thought of leaving their amazing neighbors. They needed some time to grieve.

Advice to the home seller:

“Do yourself a favor,” she said, “don’t let yourself get so caught up in owning things that they end up owning you.” I’ll give you a minute to take that in.

Jane allowed as how their house had just become too much for them to manage if they were going to do all of the other things they wanted. Then she said “Memories are completely portable, you don’t have to pack them or find a place to put them. Besides, it’s what? three and a half miles away. You want to say hi? Put on your shoes and stop by, I’ll give you a ride back.”

The point is houses do represent a lot of feelings. You work hard to own a home, watch kids grow up there, you wish you were there when the day refuses to go your way or you’ve been traveling a bit too long. A house gives us a sense of security. After all, “there’s no place like home.” When you have to move, but aren’t really excited about it, for whatever reason, remember you can make memories anywhere you choose to, and take them with you too.

If you or someone you know is thinking of buying or selling a house, give us a call at 269-488-1530. We’ll be happy to help.