Selling Your House: Emotional Milestone?

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Selling the family home is often an emotional experience for all involved – if there’s not a huge need to move many families put it off for a few years before they make that all important decision. In fact, it’s only when the kids have left the household permanently that many parents get ‘empty nest syndrome’ and recognise that it might be time to release some all important equity and start a new chapter in their lives.

As a leading online estate agent, have done some research with YouGov and the results show that over a third (35%) of Britons believe that selling a home, lived in for ten years or more, is the most emotional milestone in a person’s life. This doesn’t seem too out of the ordinary; after all, a home is just as much an emotional asset as it is a monetary one. What is interesting however, is that from an age standpoint it’s the younger generation (18-24), Generation Y, who think people would feel most emotional about selling up (38%) when compared with 33% of 45 to 54 year olds.

We asked Will Clark, one of the co-founders of Sell My Home, what he thinks about the trend: “A family home is more often than not perceived as a positive ‘memory bank’, a safe haven where happy memories are made and stored. Downsizing when children have flown the nest is one of the biggest drivers in the property market. However, selling up can often cause mixed feelings especially for the young adults who haven’t known any different.”

We thought that with many of our vendors falling into the downsizing category – as seen with this 9 bedroom family property – that we’d ask top Psychologist Dr Jane McCartney, who regularly appears on ITV’s This Morning, her opinion about selling up and the affect it can have on your children: “Selling your home is an important decision, but so is holding on to it to subdue someone else’s anxieties about you leaving it. If this is indeed becoming a sticking point to selling your home it’s ok to acknowledge this to both yourself and your children, don’t just dismiss it as being silly, because that will not help in the long run.”

According to the report, those from London (42%) and the South East (38%) are particularly sentimental when it comes to a person selling their home of ten years or more and it’s women (37%) compared with men (33%) who feel the strongest about this. What’s interesting about these figures is the sentimentality attached to London properties – as many consider London to be a transient city. However, London is universally considered to be one of the best cities in the world to live in.

As such, the recent brouhaha over Beyonce and Jay Z supposedly wanting to make it their European base seemed odd to us – why wouldn’t they want to live here! If they stay here for any length of time then the chances are that they’ll become attached to it and fall in love with its architecture, people, food and art just like anyone else. But if you really have to move, then how can Sell My Home help? Will Clark says that “by taking control and using an online Estate Agent, vendors can cut out the middle man and ease the added stress and astronomical associated cost. At, our view is that no one knows their home better than the vendor and with 90 per cent of property searches starting online, it’s the natural marketing choice.”

Another benefit of using a next generation estate agent is that you don’t have to deal with the traditional high street agent who may be putting undue pressure on you and your family so that they can reap the rewards of their commission.

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