Mak­ing a stress­ful sit­u­a­tion sim­pler

The Dallas Morning News - - REAL ESTATE - 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.”

Getty Images/istockphot­o

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