Sleeping On The Floor and Mentally Preparing For Selling

Below is an excerpt from my book “Just Sold: Selling A Home In Any Market“. In the book’s Introduction, I tell a slightly embarrassing story of when I sold my Atlanta condo.

What I don’t mention in the book is that during my last night in my condo, I played a variety of songs. One of those songs was Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”. Years later, the song still reminds me of the emotions I felt that last night. People do develop an emotional attachment to property.

Selling a property often represents the closing of a chapter. For me– Although I had been happily married for years, selling my condo represented the last page of my independent life. My condo was where I went when the world treated me unfairly or exhausted me. Standing on my 10th floor balcony is where I convinced myself that ANYTHING in life is possible. It was where I started my first brokerage firm. It was where I celebrated with friends. It was where I entertained my husband (then my boyfriend) in the midst of long distance dating.

You have all of these experiences in a single locale and then it’s time to sell. Of course it’s emotional. Corny, but real. The story and my tips are below. Anyway here goes…

Just Sold: Selling A Home In Any Market

Excerpt from Just Sold:

A few years ago I traveled to Atlanta to move out of my condo and attend the closing.  Not just any condo, but the first home I ever purchased and the property I owned the longest. As I boarded the plane in Washington, DC, I was overcome with emotion. My DC to Atlanta track had become a bit of a ritual. It was like going to visit an old friend, but this time you know that this will be the last visit. To some this may sound a little weird and seemingly an unusual analogy. But this is the type of anxiety many people have when selling their home– including a very experienced real estate broker. 

When you purchase the right property it really becomes home, your refuge, your safe haven. And in a world filled with so much chaos, this is a must have.

I owned this property for almost 13 years. The first six years I lived in the property full-time. The remaining years I spent increasingly less time in the property and more time at my new home in Washington, DC. It may be further unusual that this condo was so special to me considering that my home in DC is almost 10 times larger. 

Once I arrived in Atlanta, I met with the movers to move the last of my items into a storage unit. The closing was the next morning. I pondered whether to book a hotel room close to the condo or closer to the closing attorney’s office. Ironically, I chose neither. I chose to spend one last night with my old friend. With all of the furniture moved out, I gathered a couple of pillows and a blanket and slept on the hardwood floor. It was comfortable. I was home for one last night. 

Washington DC real estate

Selling is emotional. I know this. Not just based on my 20+ years of selling experience, I know this personally.”

— Dana Ash-McGinty

Selling is emotional. I know this. Not just based on my 20+ years of selling experience, I know this personally. During this emotional time period, you need an experienced, trusted real estate professional. In my book, “Just Sold: Selling A House In Any Market“, I share with you the ideas and techniques that I have developed over a long career in real estate. These are ideas that work, ideas that can save you a lot of time. This book will show you ways you can get your property sold and to do so in a way that your house will sell more quickly and for more money, no matter what the market is doing. 

I can promise you it will all work out well in the end. Your house will sell, regardless of the market. Unfortunately, I can’t promise you you won’t decide to grab a few blankets and sleep on the floor the night before closing.

As the proverb says, “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst”. Here are six tips that I share with our clients. These are the strategies that I have personally found helpful when we are mentally preparing for a challenge, especially the challenge of selling a home.

6 Tips To Mentally Prepare For Selling Your Home

  1. Do Some Research – I find the more I’m informed (and prepared), the more confident I feel and the less anxiety I have. 
  1. Be Positive – Yep, this can be tough to do particularly if you are selling out of necessity; however, it is imperative that you remain positive. Be conscious of any negative thoughts that may enter your mind and quickly dispel them. Maybe you can even give up watching the local news during the selling process!
  1. Seek Support – Confide in a family member or a close personal friend (with a level head). Spend a few minutes a week discussing your thoughts and feelings. Your real estate agent will also be able to help coach you throughout the process. 
  1. Visualize the final outcome – If you are moving by choice, spend some time seeing yourself and your family enjoying your next home. If you are moving out of necessity, realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel and see yourself in that better light (living within your financial means, new future opportunities, etc). 
  1. Meditation – Studies have found that meditation is very beneficial when facing a stressful decision. Try spending 15 to 30 minutes in meditation each day.
  1. Journal – Write it down! Getting your thoughts out of your head and down on paper, is a very freeing exercise. This will come as no challenge to those that are currently journaling. Others may find it easier to record their thoughts using a smartphone app. Even if you simply voice your thoughts (speaking them aloud), it will help (sounds weird, right?). Ask yourself questions like “what do I enjoy or not enjoy about this process?” or “what do I expect for the future in what I am doing now?”

[An excerpt from “Just Sold: Selling A Home In Any Market“.]

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By Dana Ash-McGinty

Dana Ash-McGinty is the Principal Broker of ASH | MCGINTY, a Washington, DC Real Estate Brokerage. This real estate maven has 15+ years experience in residential, commercial and land sales in addition to multi-state residential renovation, re-zoning, and condo conversion projects. A sought after real estate authority, she has been featured on CNN and in various real estate and financial publications. Dana is married to the highly esteemed Dr. Dana W. McGinty, a Washington, DC internal medicine physician and medical correspondent. They are often referred to as "The Danas".

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