Everyone has a relationship with money. The relationship could be healthy or dysfunctional.
Not everyone understands their relationship with money.
When it comes to selling your home, the elephant in the room is money. How you think about the money involved in this transaction may be the most important part of your entire real estate journey.
For the vast majority of people, buying or selling a house will be the largest transaction of their lives. Whether that transaction is deemed a success or failure, in large part, comes down to your beliefs and feelings around money.
Let me give you some examples of mindset around money and how those attitudes and beliefs colored the entire real estate process.
(Some of the details have been altered for these examples.)
We had a transaction that was well over a million dollars for a house in a very sought after neighborhood. The transaction and the relationship soured after a successful sale over a $233 fee. It’s a beautiful home, great location, and there were hundreds of hours of work put into a protracted contract negotiation.
Instead of there being a celebratory toast on the deck overlooking the water, there were hurt feelings over $233.
Does anyone actually believe this was really about $233? Something else was going on in the mind of the person with what that money represents.
There was a client that admittedly said they were horrible with money. They had no savings and a pile of debt. The one asset they did have was their house. The story that they told themselves was that the sale of the house was a cure all. There would be no out of pocket expenses, the home would sell quickly, and the proceeds would pay off all the consumer debt with a handsome nest-egg left over.
This client came to the first meeting with a price they “had to get.” It didn’t matter what the house was actually worth, they were shopping for a real estate agent that would deliver that number.
We decided to pass on listing this home because the number was delusional. There was no way to get the result they were looking for. They did find an agent to list at the “had to get” price. The house sat on the market for months. They had to drop the price several times, and I assume that was not a pleasant process for everyone involved.
On the flip side, it is interesting to work with someone who thinks very differently about money. We had a transaction where we firmly believed we could get more money for the seller.
But that wasn’t the most important thing to this seller. She was not motivated by taking every dollar off the table. She had other objectives that were more important to her like a quick timeline and some family obligations.
She was thrilled to have things go smoothly and quickly. The fact that there might have been a way to get a bit more money did not appeal to her at all. When the transaction closed, she left with a sizable check and was very happy.
I could go on, but you get the point. Checking in on your beliefs and patterns around money before you sell your home is vitally important.
There are a couple of books that I like to recommend.
First is Mind Over Money by Brad and Ted Klontz. “Do you overspend? Undersave? Keep secrets about money from a spouse or family member? Are you anxious about dealing with your finances? If so, you are not alone. Let’s face it–just about all of have complicated, if not downright dysfunctional, relationships with money.“
This book has a lot of practical advice on having a healthy relationship with money. If proceeding to your next chapter in life and being happy is the goal, sorting out the place money plays in your life could be one of the keys.
The other book I recommend is Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. “Rich Dad Poor Dad is Robert’s story of growing up with two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad — and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.”
This book is all about mindset around money and building wealth. If you’ve never read it, it’s a great primer on how to win at the real estate game and how to think about money as tool that you can use to build a better life for you and those you care about.
Now that we’ve covered What’s Next, and done a deep dive on money and price, let’s do this thing. Let’s get this property ready to sell.
Ron Upshaw is a Licensed Agent at
Windermere Real Estate Midtown
1920 North 34th Street
Seattle, WA 98103