5 tips to help reduce the stress of home buying

Half of buyers admitted crying at least once during the home-buying process. These tips could help them shed fewer tears

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Current home buyers are feeling the pressure of today’s low-inventory, high-demand market. In fact, it’s squeezing the tears right out of their eyes. A recent Zillow survey* found that 50% of home buyers cried at least once during the purchasing process. Younger buyers were even more likely to shed tears; about 61% of the millennial buyers and 65% of the Gen Z buyers surveyed said they cried during the process. 

Even most of those with dry eyes admitted that buying a home entailed some emotional difficulty. Nearly 90% of the recent buyers Zillow surveyed said at least one aspect of the home-buying process was stressful. 

Although the process may seem daunting, there are several things you can do that could ease the mental burden. If you’re considering becoming a homeowner, check out the following five tips to help reduce the stress associated with buying a home. 

  1. Get your finances in order BEFORE looking at homes. 

To avoid finding the perfect home only to lose out to someone who’s already lined up financing, start your journey by getting pre-approved. On Zillow’s home loans page, you can find a mortgage calculator, compare lenders and rates, and get pre-approved for a mortgage. Sixty-two percent of buyers surveyed felt stressed about finding a home within their budget, so knowing your limits before looking could lower some of that anxiety. 

  1. Hire the right agent. 

Real estate agents have been known to say that they feel like therapists to their clients; that’s only one benefit of bringing in an expert who can help you navigate through the buying process. Use Zillow’s agent finder tool to read reviews of top-rated real estate agents in your area. With 60% of sellers getting at least two offers on a home, having the right agent to help craft a competitive offer should take some of the weight off your shoulders. 

  1. Use tech to your advantage. 

Deciding which home to buy is often a major stressor for seekers. To make sure you are seeing the newest listings first, you can save your search on the Zillow app or website and receive notifications of new listings directly to your inbox. Zillow’s 3D Home tours can give you a feel for a property without ever leaving your house. If you’re searching for a home with a partner or friend, you can use the SharePlay feature to view places together — even if you’re apart. You can also compare your top picks side by side in the app to see which feels like the best fit. Since 52% of surveyed buyers felt stressed about losing out on a home they really wanted, this technology may help you move faster than the competition before ever viewing a home. 

  1. Stay organized. 

With all the moving parts of moving, keeping all your information in one place could save you time, energy and stress in the long run. Using a home buyers checklist will give you a single document for recording all your progress. You can use it as a personal reference and share it with your agent or buying partner. 

  1. Enjoy the journey.

For most people, especially first-time buyers, finding and winning a home is a milestone. Although the process can be complicated and stressful, there are resources out there to help you succeed. The journey may not be perfect every step of the way, but try to celebrate each small victory. Whether it’s securing a home loan, finding the perfect agent or even getting your offer accepted, each step takes you one closer to stepping foot in your new home. Then, perhaps, the last tears you shed on your home-buying journey will be tears of joy. 

For more tips and tricks on buying a home, visit our home-buying guide.

*Zillow Group Population Science conducted a nationally representative survey of more than 2,000 people who purchased a home in the past two years or who intend to buy a home in the next 12 months. The study was fielded from February through April 2022.

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