Even in a housing market where sellers hold the upper hand and buyers must compete for limited listings, homeowners find the process of selling their home stressful. In fact, according to the Zillow Group 2019 Consumer Housing Trends Report, 95 percent of home sellers are stressed by at least some part of the process.

The lack of control, especially around time and money, creates the most anxiety for sellers. At the top of the list, according to Zillow, is not knowing whether the home will sell when the owners want it to, cited by 56 percent of those surveyed as stressful. Uncertainty about whether a home will sell for the homeowners’ desired price was cited by 53 percent of those surveyed.

Sellers are equally stressed (52 percent) by the worry that an offer will fall through and by the demands of making home improvements and preparing their home for a sale. Those two concerns are closely followed by the 51 percent of sellers who said timing the sale of their house with the purchase of their next house is nerve-racking.

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Additional worries for home sellers include the lack of control over the selling process and the timeline (cited by 46 percent of sellers), not knowing whether buyers were seriously interested (44 percent), keeping the house clean and ready for tours and open houses (43 percent), negotiating with buyers (40 percent), and leaving the house for open houses and tours (39 percent).

First-time sellers were more likely than repeat sellers to say that most aspects of selling were stressful. The gap between repeat sellers and first-time sellers and their worries about making the transition from one home to another was widest on the following topics:

  • Deciding whether to sell at all because of their low-interest-rate mortgage was cited by 39 percent of first-time sellers as a stress, but only 19 percent of repeat sellers cited this issue.
  • Finding a competitive interest rate on the home they’re buying while also selling (41 percent of first-time buyers found that stressful, compared with 17 percent of repeat sellers).
  • In general, 45 percent of first-time sellers found the unexpected aspects of the overall selling process stressful, compared with 29 percent of repeat sellers.

For the full report, click here.

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