News & Media

Study: Sellers Stressed Over Time and Money Uncertainty

Sellers don’t like home showings or making repairs, but they say their greatest stress comes from uncertainty – the aspects of a sale that they can’t control.

SEATTLE – When it comes to selling a home, factors that are hard for sellers to control – like uncertainty about timing and price – cause the most stress, according to the 2019 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trend Report. Almost everyone considers a home sale stressful – 95% according to the report.

However, the primary stress isn’t juggling family and a life while keeping the house ready for last-minute showings, sellers said the two biggest causes of stress revolve around the things they can’t control.

Most sellers list their home based on the time they think it will take to sell, and 56% of sellers said the “Will it sell on time?” question caused stress. In addition, 53% fear the home won’t sell for the price they expect, and 52% said they stressed over something falling through during the selling process.

One reason timing and financing can be stressful for many home sellers is because 64% of them plan to buy a new home after selling their old home, a stress factor specifically cited by 51% of home sellers.

More than half (52%) of home sellers also worry about improvements needed to prepare a home for the marketplace, maintaining to get a home ready to sell. Maintaining a market-ready home is stressful for 43% of sellers, and 39% stress about leaving the home for tours and open houses.

Younger or less experienced home sellers feel the greatest stress. Younger sellers are more likely to worry about leaving the house during tours and open houses than older sellers, and Generation Z or millennial home sellers are more likely to feel stressed over their lack of control over the selling process.

“The two most stressful questions when selling a home – what price it will sell for, and how long it will take – are top of mind from the very beginning of the home selling process” because they could have a big financial impact, says Skylar Olson, director of economic research at Zillow. “Those outcomes could ultimately be the difference between retiring now or six months later, or having to pay a new mortgage and rent in a temporary home.”

The uncertainty and unpredictability of the traditional home selling process causes many home sellers to hit a breaking point – previous research found that more than one-third of home sellers cry when selling a home, and more Americans are stressed out by selling a home than they are by planning a wedding or getting fired.

© 2019 Florida Realtors®