The Dallas Morning News

Making a stressful situation simpler

- Erik J. Martin, CTW Features

Planning a wedding can be taxing. Job hunting and interviewi­ng with a potential employer can make you sweat. But there’s no task quite as worrisome as selling a home, new research shows.

Over three out of four Americans who have sold a residence in the past three years reveal it was a stressful experience – not far behind a relationsh­ip breakup – per the results of a recent Zillow survey. In fact, 36 percent said the selling process brought them to tears (onefifth cried five times or more), particular­ly parents and millennial­s. Seven in 10 fretted about sales price uncertaint­y or that their home would sit on the market longer than expected, while twothirds feared an offer would collapse or felt stressed about making necessary home improvemen­ts. The poll also found that around 70 percent of sellers miscalcula­ted how long the process would take, with over one in three admitting their home sale took longer than anticipate­d.

Jordyn Lee, spokespers­on for Seattlebas­ed Zillow, said it’s no shock that selling a home is one of the most stressful experience­s in modern life.

“Hosting open houses and hoping the timing lines up are all things that distract you from what often really matters most – finding your next home,” she said. “So many factors are out of your control, including sale price. Many sellers have a price in their mind, and a lot of stress comes from worrying if they’ll get as much as they want or need. Another stressor is timing. Over 60 percent of sellers are also buying a new house, which adds a ton of financial complexity.”

Rose Sklar, agent with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Global Luxury Specialist in Broward County, Florida, said sellers feel pressure trying to compete with popular home improvemen­t shows and meet the demands of buyers who are better informed and prepared today.

“Additional­ly, it’s natural for sellers who set their expectatio­ns too high to feel pressure,” Sklar noted. “Sellers need to step back and accept that things don’t

always go exactly the way they want or plan.”

To tamp down the tension and sleep better during the selling process, try these tips:

Be strategic. “List your home at a time that can positively impact your sales price, if you can. Zillow research shows it’s best to sell your home in spring – specifical­ly the first half of May,” said Lee. Alternativ­ely, consider listing when inventory is lower, like late summer or late fall.

Prep properly. “Before putting your home on the market, declutter and depersonal­ize the home as much as possible. Consider using a profession­al home stager, and be sure to use a profession­al photograph­er to market and present your home in the best way possible,” suggested Nadia Anac, Realtor with Keller Williams Tampa Central in Tampa, Florida.

Home inspection. Have the home inspected before putting it on the market. “This way, you can address any issues beforehand, so there won’t be any costly surprises during the buyer’s home inspection,” Anac said. Sell it furnished. “People love the convenienc­e of a turnkey sale. Purchasing a fully furnished property that’s ready to go can help alleviate some of the stress of acclimatio­n,” said Alison Bernstein, founder/president of real estate and lifestyle advisory firm, Suburban Jungle.

Home warranty. Consider purchasing a home warranty while your home is on the market. “A seller’s home warranty can provide buyers with peace of mind that any issues they encounter after the sale will likely be covered, and can help the seller with repairs that are needed while the house is on the market,” said Anac. Don’t take things personally.

“When your agent gives you feedback, remember that it’s probably coming from buyers, not your agent. Your agent is on your team, trying to get to the finish line of a sold property,” Sklar added.

Have a plan for showings. “Sometimes there are lastminute requests to show the home, and it’s important to allow access to the home as much as possible,” Anac recommende­d. “Have a plan ahead of time for what to do – like taking a walk or asking a neighbor to pet sit.”

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Getty Images/istockphot­o

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