Before decluttering, cleaning or rearranging furniture to put a house on the market, homeowners have to get in the right frame of mind to ensure a successful sale.

The best outcomes happen when selling a home starts with the seller's ideology about the process. The home seller’s psychology, habits and practices are what solidify the deal, because they’re willing to live with – or in some cases, live without – their stuff to get to the closing table.

[See: 8 Home-Selling Buzzwords That Annoy Consumers.]

At times home sellers can be resistant, fall back into old habits or decide they don’t need to prepare their homes for sale in the way they should. Here's how to transform those mental obstacles into home-selling strengths.

Selling Objection No. 1: No Need

Sometimes a home seller’s beliefs are different from reality. Rather than follow the advice of an expert, sellers keep gym equipment in their living room or outdated wallpaper in a bathroom. Many believe their home already “shows” great, so they reject the home staging game plan from the get-go.

Mindset Shift: Set feelings aside in a real estate transaction.

Savvy sellers know that when parting with their most prized possession – their home – they need to leave their emotions at the door. Owning a home is different from, let’s say, owning a T-shirt. First off, it’s a substantial investment that you own for years, in some cases the biggest purchase of your life. Plus, it’s where memories are made, which can sway feelings and skew viewpoints. When you set your feelings aside you’ll realize every home can benefit from proper preparation.

Selling Objection No. 2: No Money

This is the biggest objection among sellers. But in most cases, you have to spend money to make money. Home staging is an added cost, but it’s also an added value to both your bottom line and marketing budget. Avoid lowball offers or concessions from buyers by completing home improvement updates prior to the sale and making repairs that will provide the biggest return on your investment, and can actually increase the sales price.

Mindset Shift: Create win-win situations.

Successful sellers know their effectiveness is largely achieved through a team effort. A win-win situation means making agreements or solutions that are mutually beneficial and satisfying to all parties involved. In order to create a win-win agreement you need to consider these five elements:

  • Desired Results: What does the final outcome look like? Focus on the "what."
  • Guidelines: What are the ground rules, the “shoulds” and “should nots?” How should each person operate throughout the deal?
  • Resources: What is it going to take? What resources are available to you?
  • Accountability: Who will do what, when? Evaluate results and hold accountability meetings.
  • Consequences: What happens at the end? Weigh both the good and bad.

[See: 13 Things to Know About Selling Your Home in Fall and Winter.]

Selling Objection No. 3: No Hurry

A homeowner needs to commit to the process of selling a home from the beginning or it’ll be a waste of time for everyone involved. If your plan is to test the market, then home staging most likely won’t work for you, for example. Selling a home is key during the first few weeks on the market, while buyers view it as more of a hot commodity.

Mindset Shift: Be proactive when showcasing your home.

Serious sellers need to take advantage of this opportunity prior to listing and motivate themselves to maintain a staged home. Becoming proactive early on in the selling process is a major turning point for homeowners. Take responsibility for this deal and don’t allow outside factors – like market conditions or your competitor’s lot size – to affect your motivation.

[See: 10 Unorthodox Ways your Real Estate Agent May Marketing Your Home.]

Selling Objection No. 4: No Desire

Maybe you have no desire to pack up items, rearrange furniture, organize or update a particular space. Maybe you question the process because of misinformation or lack of education about the home selling process. Or perhaps you simply don’t want to be bothered. It takes willpower to stage a home and maintain it while it’s on the market. A home seller needs motivation, which comes from desire.

Mindset Shift: Begin with the end in mind.

Where are you going to move? For some, this question may be scary to think about, for others the question brings excitement. Imagining what you want as if it already exists is the first step to making it happen.

When you begin with the end in mind, you have a clear vision, desire and direction of where you want to be. The steps to get to the end and accomplish your goal, in this case selling a home, become easier to navigate when you’re able to envision the home sold already.

Without this framework, sellers lose focus, lose money, get frustrated and give up. Or worse, they never even begin.

Tags: real estate, housing market, housing, existing home sales, pending home sales, home improvements, home prices


Tori Toth is a best-selling author, DIY and lifestyle expert, award-winning home stager and lifestyle authority. She can show anybody how to add more value to their home by giving the tools needed to prepare and showcase any home for sale. She works with consumers, real estate agents, or anybody else who wants to make their home look its best quickly and easily. Home staging is a strategic marketing tool for the biggest return on investment of a home, focusing on renovation and creative design. By creating a lifestyle that buyers will find aspirational, Tori Toth will demonstrate methods of rearranging, organizing and in many cases, adding or editing furniture and home décor. The best, clearest, most helpful information of how to stage a home with and be an immediate success can be found in Tori’ best-selling book "Feel at Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell."