Selling a home and the process of getting it ready for sale, from changing burnt out lightbulbs, giving it a fresh coat of paint, ensuring there are fresh flowers throughout, and depersonalizing, can bring up all kinds of emotions for every member of tthe family, including the family pets.Coming home each day knowing strangers have evaluated how you live is odd, no matter how excited you are about your next move. 

I’ve been there. Often. And I know that planning, process and really good step by step explanation and constant communication take the edge off that emotion.Over the last few weeks, I’ve navigated a series of my own emotions and the emotions of several clients. I’m keeping it real in this article: They did not all end up in their dream homes, though they are all on their way there.

A couple with 3 elementary school-age children made an offer on a home in a (VERY) competitive neighbourhood. They offered well over asking but still didn’t get the house. We communicated constantly and I took emotional temperature checks throughout the day. We had laid out a comprehensive strategy the day before. While they didn’t get the house, and there was a big let down, we ultimately felt good about the outcome.The next day, they reached out and we met to take the next steps toward their goals.

A parent and preschool-age child were looking to go from a condo with no yard and no storage to a townhome with a yard, a basement and ideally a third bedroom for a work-from-home office. After 5 offers with another agent, and on the third offer with me, my client found her next happy place.She had regrets about a couple of the places she missed out on and she is working through that, but it’s my job to help her see that she got a fabulous new home with good value.In this case, it was the emotions of the seller that impacted the transaction. My client did not have the highest offer (third highest), but the seller wanted her to have it because of the letter I wrote about my client. We did improve our offer a little bit, but we may still not have been the highest; we wouldn’t have had the opportunity, had that little extra effort not gone into the offer.

A Retiree moving from a spacious family home out-of-town to a condo in Ottawa to be closer to her children and grandchildren has mixed emotions about her move. She is excited for a new adventure in her seventies, but loves her friends and her social life, and is anxious about building friendships in a new place.In this case, her adult children are also concerned and excited for their mother. They have their own ideas about what and where her new home should be. My role in this instance is to make sure that my client’s needs are met and her confidentiality is maintained, while balancing her wishes to keep her children informed and part of the process.

A mom and her teenage child made an offer on a townhome condo in an effort to minimize the home maintenance responsibilities they bear. Mom purchased their detached home in the same area almost 25 years ago and she has no mortgage. She is nearing retirement and doesn’t want to take on any debt.Offering to purchase before selling was a nerve-wracking, anxiety-provoking endeavour for this woman, who hadn’t done this in decades. 

The offer was not strong enough to compete in this case, but we decided that the process was an education and it was worth doing no matter what.When I called her to let her know that she hadn’t gotten the home, she said that she was relieved. In her case, I suggested she consider selling first and risk a few months of renting in order to gain more certainty about what she feels comfortable spending.We’re all going to experience emotions when it comes to buying and selling houses. It’s inevitable. 

How you manage those emotions, and who you choose to support you and share the emotional and logistical burden will make all the difference in how you feel about the outcome.

Don’t go it alone. I’d love to help or share from my team of experts. Send me an email at and let’s chat.