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Post Traumatic Real Estate Disorder

Recently, I’ve been accused of being very doom and gloom as I wrote the first few chapters of my new book, Real Estate is Not for Sissies, and passed them off as blog posts. Kidding. I’m not really writing a book. Maybe someday, when I have a little free time. Right now, you all keep me nice and busy selling your homes and helping you find new ones. Yay and thanks for that! I certainly didn’t mean to be a negative Nelly… I simply wanted to help you thicken your pre-real-estate skin so that you’d be prepared for and able to navigate some of the tough and emotionally tricky aspects of buying and selling homes. So, I wrote about both and I bet you’re thinking… HURRAY! She’s covered both sides of the real estate transaction… it’s all sunshine and rainbows from here on out. Yeah, except… there’s one more teensy, tiny thing I wanted to mention. I call it PTRED… Post Traumatic Real Estate Disorder. Let’s chat…

So many of you (armed with my warnings from the previous posts, I’m sure!) went through the selling of or buying of a home with relative ease. Sure, the last minute showings were nerve-racking, but you were prepared. You had plans! Dinner reservations! Playdates! And the whole keeping the house clean? It was sorta fun in a “Survivor meets Suburbia” kind of way. You love a good challenge, right?

Or you were buying a home and you CAME, you SAW, you OFFERED. Boom. In and out with a new home, so there. Nothing to it. You left a few crying competitors in your wake, but all’s fair in love and real-estate, right? The point is, you came through this thing and you’re firmly ensconced in your beautiful new home and life couldn’t be better, right? But then, why the anxiety, the meh feelings, the blah mood when you should feel elated and on top of the world? Oh, right… it’s that nasty PTRED.

I’m probably a bit like the above paragraph. If I know I’m facing a big challenge, I plan, I plot, I prepare and then I. Just. Go. Full steam, blinders on, calming breaths, eyes on the prize. The tactic has served me well and when I work with clients who share that mentality, we’re pretty much unstoppable. But, I’ve learned over the years that eventually, you must stop and that when you do, you might be left feeling a bit depleted. Guess what? It’s totally and 100% normal and actually, the longer I do this, the more I realize that it’s an important emotional step in coming full circle and adapting to a new home and – possibly – a new life. You’ve just expended a tremendous amount of emotional energy, physical energy, time, attention and – let’s not downplay this tiny detail – spent a lot of money. It’s taxing and tiresome and you need to give yourself and your family time to rest. So there it is… my best advice for PTRED. Don’t try to avoid it.

If you find yourself feeling down after you move into your dream home, treat yourself kindly. Let those boxes sit for a few days and go see a movie with your sweetie. Order a catered dinner and eat by candlelight. Unearth the bath salts and soak in your new jetted tub. Trying to avoid the overwhelming sense of “NOW WHAT?!?” by feverishly unpacking and organizing is not going to help. Have lunch with an old friend (or favorite Realtor… just sayin’). Perhaps you need a bit of time to mourn your old home. Go ahead. Find a great picture and have it framed and hung in a place of honor in your new home. Embrace your feelings, recognize that they are perfectly normal. The adrenaline that was powering you through the selling of one home and the buying of another has evaporated and it may take a bit of time to find your sea-legs. But once you do, once you give yourself permission to exhale, feel and process, you’ll find that your new home really was worth all the stress and strain and that you, my faithful reader, home buying client and real-estate hero, just finished a marathon. You crossed the finish line! So, raise your hands in a victory dance and let the good times in your new home ROLL!

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