36% of sellers break down in tears selling their home

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  • Selling home creates anxiety for most sellers
  • The number one concern is selling home in the desired time
  • 43% of sellers have unfinished projects to complete before selling

If you find the process of selling your home daunting and stressful, you’re not alone.  In a series of  surveys by Zillow, Zillow found that 36% of home sellers were so stressed by the selling process, that they cried.  In fact, their research shows that selling your home can be more stressful than planning a wedding or the thought of being fired.

Here are the top items causing stress for sellers.

Sellers worry about selling their home in desired time frame

You might think that keeping your home showroom ready was the number one stress-er.  However, according to the report, the biggest stress for home sellers, 56%, was not knowing if their home would sell in time.

Roughly 45% of families move because of some kind of life event.  Life events include, but are not limited to the job transfers, getting married, children, a death in the family, moving to assisted living, or needing to sell a house because of divorce.  Any of these life changes can have time constraints causing home sellers to need to sell quickly, or at least within a specified time frame.

Additionally, many sellers need to sell their current home in order to complete the purchase of another home.  If the seller is unable to complete the sale of their home quickly, they may have to cancel the purchase of their future home.  These offers, called contingent offers, can have a chain reaction between buyers and sellers who are all dependent on the sale of their home to move on.

Sellers anxious about not getting the price they want

Additionally, 53% of sellers became anxious about getting the price they wanted.  Zillow reports that 60% of home sellers have to lower their sale price at least once, before selling.

Adding to the seller’s anxiety, an additional 29% of home sales have some kind of price concessions.  Furthermore, 20% of home sales include the seller paying for some or all of the buyer’s closing costs.  An additional nineteen percent of sales include concessions for repairs.

It’s no wonder that so many sellers broke down and cried five or more times during the selling process.

Stress factors selling home

Sellers agonize about offers falling through

According to the survey, 40% of home purchase offers fall through. Offers can fall through for many reasons.  The most common is reason is the borrower not being able to obtain financing.  Sadly, 21% of financed offers fall through due to some issue that only the buyer and the lender ever know.  It’s no wonder, sellers prefer to sell to cash buyers.

What are additional reasons offers fall through?  Buyers changing their minds or the buyer’s current home not selling first.

Sellers stress about making repairs

Twenty four percent of sellers wished they had started the process of selling their house sooner.

Many sellers choose to perform upgrades and repairs to their home to increase the selling price  These repairs include upgrading the kitchen and bathrooms, redecorating, replacing or repairing the roof, and replacing appliances.  These repairs often take longer than the homeowners anticipate.  For a single contractor, these repairs typically take two to three months of full time work. For homeowners working on their home after work and weekends it takes significantly longer.

Additionally a whopping 43% of homeowners, have projects that they have started, but not finished.  Reasons for homeowners not completing projects?  Finding the time to work on repair projects themselves, and finding the money to complete repairs.

A slightly smaller percentage (38%) of homeowners do not make any repairs at all, or do only the minimum necessary to maintain their home.  That equates to more than a third of homes being sold having deferred on non exist maintenance.

Sellers fret about keeping the house clean

Surprisingly, keeping their homes clean for potential buyers was only stressful for 43% of home sellers.  Fortunately, for the rest of us, there are lots of tricks we can use to keep our home show room ready when selling our home.

At the bottom of the list, was stress over leaving their home during showings and open houses.  However, it should be noted that this survey was performed prior to COVID-19. Undoubtedly COVID-19 has added additional stresses to the home selling process, including the stress over potential buyers entering sellers homes.


If you find selling your home stressful, you obviously are not alone.  If you are looking for a less daunting way of selling your home, consider selling your home to a cash buyer.  Cash buyers can offer many benefits.  Unlike most home buyers, cash buyers aren’t dependent upon lender financing.  Additionally, they often buy as-is, meaning you don’t have to finish those unfinished projects or repairs.   And most importantly, they can help you sell in time to meet your timeline.