The Most Important Seller’s Decision

I know what you are thinking! You think this blog is going to be all about persuading homeowners to choose to use a professional stager; or convincing your seller to use one if you are a real estate agent. Well, while I do believe that having the advice and help of a qualified stager is incredibly important and downright vital, I don’t believe it is the most important thing that needs to happen when it is decided to sell a home!


So what is this most important decision? After all, isn’t it enough to have decided to sell? Isn’t that the biggest obstacle to overcome? “To List or Not To List,” that is the question, right? Well, no, in fact, the most important decision is to do what many sellers can’t quite do and that is to DISCONNECT EMOTIONALLY.


What does it mean to disconnect from a home emotionally? One’s home is not just a house; it is an emotional place, a place of comfort and respite, a place where memories have been made, and life takes place. It represents our investment, in not only the purchase, but also in the moments there where we have exchanged joys and sorrows, conversation, meals, and the many experiences that we treasure. Home should be emotional, but when the time comes to put your home on the market, that switch must not just be turned off, but truly unplugged! In your mind and heart, the home has to become just a house again.


For some people, the mere thought of taking that emotional value away is unfathomable. I’ve run into this so many times as I have consulted with homeowners. They believe that even after they move, the new owners will somehow honor their decorating, their memories, and their investment. They want to believe that even after the home is sold, they will still be a part of it. Holding onto this belief clouds their judgment and makes the home sale process difficult. This includes making decisions about home updates, staging, and in the negotiation when a buyer does make an offer.


By choosing to emotionally disconnect and to consciously decide to do what is necessary to sell the home, they make way for prospective buyers to see the house as their own home. Put simply, the emotional attachment that magnetizes you to your home, will de-magnetize potential buyers to the property. It is important to do everything necessary to rip the band-aid off of your psychological connection.

What does emotional disconnection look like in actionable items?

 – Removing photos and pictures, diplomas and other personal items from the home.

 – Painting over strong personal paint selections to colors that neutralize a house.

 – Removing collections, quirky belongings, and other items that distract buyers.

 – Choosing not to take the recommendations of your real estate agent and their staging

professional personally.


Looking ahead to your next home and focusing on the memories and moments you will have there is the best way to redirect your feelings. I do understand that in some cases, the reasons for selling are not always good ones, but a healthy sales transaction best takes place when emotional attachment to the home has been released, regardless of the reasons for selling. You and your seller’s agent will be able to make the sales process smoother and perhaps faster, as a result.

Lorelie Brown, M.A., CPRES, CID is the Owner of Showhomes Charleston in Charleston, SC.  RESA-PRO member, an HSRA-Elite Member and part of HSRA Elite Leadership. She is passionate about the power of home staging and has staged over $300 million in real estate.