How to Reduce the Stress of Selling a House

house selling

Traditionally, selling a house has been one of the most stressful experiences a person goes through in life. Sometimes, it brings people to tears.

But your home-selling experience doesn’t have to be like that. With a little planning, you can simplify the process and make it a breeze.

The Stress of Selling a House

According to a recent survey from Zillow, 75 percent of people say selling a house is a stressful experience. And for 36 percent of them, it’s so stressful that it brings them to tears.

One out of every five home sellers says he or she cried at least five times during the process. “Common stressors that came with selling a house included uncertainty over the sale price, worry about the home not selling within the ideal timeframe, concern that an offer would fall through, and angst over the process of fixing up the home to sell it,” real estate blogger Lauren Phillips writes.

The underlying stress is exacerbated by the fact that most people are also in the process of trying to buy a different home at the roughly same time. This entails further challenges and logistical issues that aren’t necessarily easy to handle.

Five Tips for a Stress-Free Home Sale

Although there will always be a certain element of home selling that will be stressful, it doesn’t have to be a miserable, anxiety-inducing experience. By implementing the five following tips, you can minimize the stress and complete the transaction with far less friction.

1. Get Clear on Your “Why”

The first step is to spend some time thinking about why you’re selling your house. In other words, what’s your underlying rationale?

Are you moving because of a job change that requires you to relocate to another city? Is it because you’d like more square footage than what you currently have? Or perhaps you’re trying to simplify your life by downsizing?

2. Choose the Right Approach

Your “why” will have a major impact on your “how.” The sooner you are clear about the real reason for selling, the faster you’ll be able to zero in on the best approach to sell your home.

Typically, there are two ways to go:

  • Traditional home sale. This is the route that 90 percent of homeowners take. You locate an agent, list the house on the MLS, wait for offers, and negotiate the right deal.
  • Cash sale. As an alternative, you may work with a cash home buyer who doesn’t require inspections, approvals, or extended periods of due diligence. The prospective buyer offers a cash price with a quick close. (The customer typically ends up flipping the house or buying and holding it as an investment property.)

You’ll have to decide what you’re looking for in the home-sale process. If you want fast and stress-free, then selling to a cash home buyer is an appropriate option.

If you’re willing to go through all of the logistical hurdles that are typically involved in a home sale (but want to squeeze every last dollar out of your property), then a traditional approach is better. It’s your call.

3. Price it Right

You can do yourself a big favor by pricing the house right at the start. This will reduce the amount of time the property languishes on the market and is likely to produce more offers. Not only that, but you’ll find prospective buyers have fewer contingencies and are willing to be more flexible in negotiations.

4. Declutter Before Listing

Moving is one of the worst friction points in the home-selling process. Do yourself a favor and declutter prior to listing your house. Not only will that make your house more attractive to prospective buyers, but it also gives you less to pack up and move before closing.

5. Get Out of Dodge

Getting your house listed is a huge relief. But dealing with multiple showings during a concentrated period of time can be terribly stressful. That’s why we suggest planning a getaway on the weekend you list your home. It’s a great way to get your mind off everything.

Putting it All Together

Typically, a lot of stress is associated with putting a for-sale sign in the front yard. But what if selling your house could be an enjoyable, cathartic experience? If you implement some of the aforementioned techniques, it can be.

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