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How to Reduce the Stress of Selling a Home

Posted by on December 28, 2021

Buying a home is a stressful process as you probably remember from when you bought your current home, whether it was a year ago or a decade ago. But guess what? Selling can be just as anxiety-inducing.

While selling can be a headache, it doesn’t have to be all consuming. Read on for ways to reduce stress when selling a house.

The stress of selling a home

Zillow surveyed recent sellers about the things they worried about the most when selling a house in this market. Their most common pain points of selling a home included:

  • Selling their home within the desired time frame (36%)
  • Selling their home within the desired price range (36%)
  • Timing the sale to coincide with the purchase of a new home (36% of sellers who were buying and selling at the same time)
  • Determining a list price (31%)
  • Finding the right agent (31% of sellers who used an agent)
  • Negotiating with buyers (31%)
  • Determining what improvements, if any, to make to help sell the home (30%)
  • Determining which offer to accept (29%)

Stress of buying a home

For comparison’s sake, take a moment to recall the stresses related to buying a house. Remembering what your potential buyers are going through can increase empathy and even help you find common ground in negotiations. Worth noting: in most parts of the country, home values have recovered, inventory is tight, and competition among buyers is steep, so buying today is probably even more stressful than last time you bought. According to Zillow research, here’s what recent buyers were worried about:

  • Finding a home within their desired price range (41%)
  • Finding a home in their desired location (39%)
  • Finding a home with their desired amenities (38%)
  • Finding a home within their desired time frame (34%)
  • Determining how much house they can afford (32%)
  • Determining what to offer on a home (32%)
  • Having an offer accepted on a home they were interested in (32%)
  • Determining the best type of mortgage (32%)

How to avoid stress in selling

Whether you’re selling your first home or you’re a pro at buying and selling houses, consider these tips for avoiding seller’s stress.

Determine your reason for selling, and don’t lose sight of your motivation

Home sales happen in times of transition, and often it’s because something exciting is around the corner. Whether you’re selling to access the equity you’ve gained in your home, you’re moving into a home that is a better fit for your family, you’re going to put down roots in a new city, or you have another reason to sell in mind, keep your eye on your end goal. Your home won’t be for sale forever!

Choose the right agent

Select an agent that’s been recommended by friends and family, and make sure you feel confident in their ability to carry the burden of managing the listing.

Set boundaries around the showing schedule

It can be tempting to say yes to every showing request, even if it’s last-minute or at an inconvenient time. But it’s hard to keep your home picture-perfect around the clock, and an unpredictable showing schedule can wreak havoc on your daily life, causing major stress for the whole family. Make sure to have a conversation with your agent about when you’re available for showings and open houses, and when you’re not.

Be strategic if you’re buying and selling at the same time

If you’re selling your current home in order to buy a new one, the timing can be a serious stressor. Do you buy or sell first? Deciding to buy or sell first depends on a lot of factors, including your financial situation and the state of your local housing market. Take the time to sit down with your agent and make a plan around timing that you can both agree on.

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