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The Stresses of Selling a Home

Zillow’s 2019 Group Consumer Housing Trend Report found that factors that are harder for sellers to control—such as uncertainty about timing and price—cause the most stress when selling a home. 

The leading cause of stress when selling is not knowing if the house would sell within the desired time frame, garnering 56% of the responses in the survey. This was followed by uncertainty about not selling for the desired price at 53%. Fifty-two percent of respondents reported stress about an offer falling through. 

The report added that one reason timing and financing a home sale can be stressful is that 64% of sellers are buying another home at the same time. Zillow found that 51% of sellers found it stressful to time the sale of their current home with the purchase of a new one. 

"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 and can have a big financial impact," said 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. In the traditional market, all sorts of decisions that influence the final sale price and closing date are in your control—like whether or not to repaint the well-worn kitchen or spruce up the landscaping. 

“But because there are so many decisions to make, those two most important of outcomes remain largely uncertain until the curtain closes."

The survey also says that younger sellers are more likely to say that any aspect of selling is stressful, as 55% of Gen Z sellers said it was stressful to leave home for tours and open houses, compared to 21% of Silent Generation sellers. 

“One reason could be experience. Older sellers are more likely to have been through the process before,” Zillow says. “In fact, first-time sellers are more likely to say that most aspects of selling were stressful to them or their family.”

Earlier this year, Business Wire reported that 76% of millennials feel confident about how to sell a home, despite having little to no experience, according to a survey from SOLD.com. 

Additionally, the National Association of Realtors revealed in a report that 76% of older millennials (ages 29-38) sold a home for the first time in 2018. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.

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