It’s Not You, It’s Your Home: Be Prepared for Buyer Rejection
If Risa Martinez learned anything from selling her home last year, it’s that she had to grow some thicker skin. “Selling your home can be challenging,” says the 41-year-old Milwaukee resident. “I don’t know why I wasn’t prepared for that. I don’t know why I went into it thinking it would be all wine and roses.”
But the court reporter and mother of three says it wasn’t listing the house that challenged her, nor was it keeping her home clean so that it could be shown to potential buyers at a moment’s notice. Instead, it was the fact that many of those potential buyers walked away without ever making an offer.
“I wasn’t ready for that. I really thought everyone who walked through my house would love it as much as I did,” Martinez says. That was the hardest part. No matter what people say about the house they are selling, they all really love it because otherwise they wouldn’t have bought it in the first place. So it actually kind of hurts when someone rejects it. It’s like you want to shake them and say ‘Come on. Don’t you get it? This is a great kitchen. This is a great living room. This is an awesome backyard. You’re going to love it here. Your kids are going to love it here. How can you not see that?'”
Of course, Martinez knew she couldn’t do that, although she sometimes tried more subtle methods. “If someone walked out and clearly had no interest, I’d mention how they should see my house on Sunday during a Packers game because the layout is perfect for people to hang out and watch the game without being on top of each other,” she says. “Or I’d tell them how much my daughter loves hanging out in her room because it has a great view of the park across the street where people are always playing with their dogs.”
Those methods didn’t really work, although she’d sometimes get a polite response or an agreeing nod. What did work was perseverance. Martinez kept at it until she found a buyer, which she did after her home had been listed on the MLS for five months. And throughout that time, she began to understand why some people liked her house and others didn’t, and, more importantly, she no longer took things so personally.
“I think the way I learned to deal with it was by realizing that I do the same thing when I look at houses. There are things that just don’t connect with me. There are rooms that I just don’t like, neighborhoods I just don’t like and all sorts of other factors,” she says. “If I could understand how I may not like something that someone else really loves, it becomes a lot easier for me to not be so upset when someone rejects something that I really love.”
Throughout the home selling process, Martinez says she’s learned a few lessons about selling a home. “You have to be ready to face rejection. You have to be tough enough to accept when someone doesn’t want your home and then you have to move on,” she says. “It’s hard but in a way but you really have to take yourself out of the equation. They are not rejecting you. They just don’t necessarily like what you’re offering them. It hurts in a way, but you have to get over it. There’s a perfect buyer out there, they just have to find you.”
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