If you needed proof that selling a house (plus moving and buying a new home) is stressful, this is it.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated: June 24, 2019
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Selling a house isn’t easy—even during the best time to sell a house, the process can be stressful, time-consuming, and costly (the cost of selling a house is shockingly high). Add in moving and the search for a new place to live, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for a high-stress sandwich. Anyone will admit, anecdotally, that moving is stressful, but a new survey reveals exactly how stressful the process can be.

A recent survey of more than 1,000 people who sold a house within the last three years found that more than 75 percent of people say selling a house was a stressful experience—and more than a third say it was so stressful that it brought them to tears. That’s right: According to this survey from real estate company Zillow, 36 percent of home sellers say the process left them in tears. 20 percent of those who cried shed tears five or more times during the process, and millennials and parents were more likely to cry than other groups of home sellers.

What causes all this stress, and likely some common stress symptoms? 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.

To add even more pressure and chaos to the process, 61 percent of home sellers are trying to buy a home at the same time that they’re trying to sell one, according to Zillow research. Whether or not you agree that a happy move is possible, that has to be stressful—especially if selling a house is taking longer than anticipated.

How can selling a house be less stressful? Putting the house on the market during peak buying and selling season, if possible, is a good place to start. Sellers can also make their homes as attractive to potential buyers as possible by boosting curb appeal, researching paint colors and decor trends that buyers are looking for, and being willing to make concessions to potential buyers—even if that means going below ask price.

Chances are, selling a house is going to be stressful no matter how well-prepared you are, so be prepared and know that it’ll all fall into place eventually. And if you’re really feeling stressed and need an outlet, learning how to make yourself cry might help—crying isn’t always a bad thing.

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