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Uncertainty Causes More Stress for Home Sellers than Repairs and Showings

Most home sellers find part of the process stressful, but selling at the right time and for the desired price are top concerns

Oct 10, 2019

SEATTLE, Oct. 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to selling a home, factors that traditionally have been harder for sellers to control -- like uncertainty about timing and price -- cause the most stress. That's according to the 2019 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trend Reporti, the largest-ever survey of U.S. home buyers, sellers, owners and renters.

The process of selling a home can be difficult -- 95% of home sellers said they consider some aspect of selling a home stressful. You might think that most of that stress of selling revolves around juggling family and life while keeping the house ready for last-minute showings, but sellers said the two biggest causes of stress revolve around time and money -- things they can't control.

Not knowing if a home will sell within the desired time frame is the largest source of stress for sellers, with 56% of them calling it a stressful experience. Meanwhile, 53% of sellers worry about not being able to sell their home for the price they want, and 52% were stressed about an offer falling through.

One reason timing and financing a home sale can be stressful is that many home sellers (64%) are buying another home at the same time. In fact, 51% of home sellers specifically found it stressful to time the sale of their current home with the purchase of a new one.

That's not to say that preparing and waiting for a home to sell aren't still worrisome. More than half (52%) of home sellers worry about making improvements to get a home ready to sell. Maintaining a market-ready home is stressful for 43% of sellers, and 39% stress about leaving the home for tours and open houses.

For younger or less experienced home sellers, the potential stresses of putting a home on the market are magnified. Younger sellers are more likely to worry about leaving the house during tours and open houses than older sellers, and Generation Z or millennial home sellersii are more likely to feel stressed due to a lack of control over the selling process than sellers in older generations.

"The two most stressful questions when selling a home – what price it will sell for, and how long it will take – are top of mind from the very beginning of the home selling process and can have a big financial impact," said Skylar Olson, director of economic research at Zillow. "Those outcomes could ultimately be the difference between retiring now or six months later or having to pay a new mortgage and rent in a temporary home. In the traditional market, all sorts of decisions that influence the final sale price and closing date are in your control – like whether or not to repaint the well-worn kitchen or spruce up the landscaping. But because there are so many decisions to make, those two most important of outcomes remain largely uncertain until the curtain closes."

The uncertainty and unpredictability of the traditional home selling process causes many home sellers to hit a breaking point -- previous Zillow research found that more than one-third of home sellers cry when selling a home, and more Americans are stressed out by selling a home than they are by planning a wedding or getting fired.

Data from the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trend Report is available for free to the public at, and custom analyses are available to journalists by emailing

For those looking for a more predictable home sale, home sellers in 20 different markets can skip the work of preparing their home for sale and instead sell directly to Zillow through Zillow Offers. By selling directly to Zillow, sellers can feel secure with their cash offer and can set a closing date that fits their schedule.

"A home is typically the largest asset someone has, and uncertainties around selling traditionally - whether about price, timing or that the offer doesn't fall through - can be incredibly stressful for sellers," said Zillow Brand President Jeremy Wacksman. "Zillow Offers eases these concerns, giving sellers the peace of mind of knowing how much their home will sell for, and control over the timing of it."

About Zillow

Zillow® is transforming how people buy, sell, rent and finance homes by creating seamless real estate transactions for today's on-demand consumer. Zillow is the leading real estate and rental marketplace and a trusted source for data, inspiration and knowledge among both consumers and real estate professionals.

Zillow's proprietary data, technology and industry partnerships put Zillow at nearly every major point of the home shopping experience, helping consumers search for and get into their new home faster. Zillow now offers a fully integrated home shopping experience that includes access to for sale and rental listings, Zillow Offers®, which provides a new, hassle-free way to buy and sell eligible homes directly through Zillow; and Zillow Home Loans, Zillow's affiliated lender that provides an easy way to receive mortgage pre-approvals and financing. Zillow Premier Agent instantly connects buyers and sellers with its network of real estate professionals to help guide them through the home shopping process. For renters, Zillow's innovations are streamlining the way people search, tour, apply and pay rent for leased properties.

In addition to, Zillow operates the most popular suite of mobile real estate apps, with more than two dozen apps across all major platforms. Launched in 2006, Zillow is owned and operated by Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z and ZG) and headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow and Zillow Offers are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

i The 2019 Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends asked 13,000 U.S. household decision makers aged 18 and older about their homes – how they search for them, pay for them, maintain and improve them, and what aspirations and challenges drive their decision. Data from the full report is available for free to the public at, and custom analyses are available to journalists by emailing

ii Generation Z sellers are defined as those between the ages of 18-24, while millennial sellers are defined as sellers between the ages of 25-39.



For further information: Lauren Thompson, Zillow,