How to Cope With the Stress of Buying a Home

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Home buying is an emotional experience and very personal to each buyer. When your emotions are involved in a purchase, there's a possibility that those emotions can get out of hand. Moreover, the chances of things going wrong are endless.

  • Sellers can be unreasonable and argumentative
  • A home inspection may reveal defects
  • Lenders may reject your loan
  • You could receive a low appraisal
  • Your agent might not communicate well with you or meet your expectations
  • The title company could find a cloud on title or an unknown lien
  • Your moving company could go bankrupt

Home Buying Stress Starts With the Purchase Offer

Get a copy of your agent's purchase agreement that you will sign before looking at homes. Take it home and read it carefully, and ask questions about parts you don't understand. When you're comfortable with its contents, then sign it. Here is a partial list of what an offer may contain:

Can Happen While Waiting for Acceptance

What if the seller rejects your offer? What if the seller makes an unreasonable counter offer that you can't afford? Did you offer too little? Too much? All these thoughts and more can take over your brain. You may begin to needlessly strategize, saying to yourself, "If the seller does X, we'll do Y."

Here are some ways to cope with anxiety after making an offer:

  • Call your agent or a trusted friend or family member who has recently bought a home and talk about your feelings and concerns.
  • Focus on something else that requires your undivided attention such as a computer game, reading a book, or exercise.
  • Tell yourself over and over that you cannot control the outcome; it's up to the seller to respond.
  • Trust in yourself that you have submitted your best offer.

While Waiting to Close

You've undoubtedly done your homework, received a pre-approval letter from the lender, submitted your paperwork in an orderly fashion, and paid for an appraisal. If the lender requires more documentation, don't question why; just dig it up and submit it.

Ask your agent to inform you of the home buying process, step-by-step, so you'll know what to expect. Your real estate agent can be an invaluable resource for you at a time like this. Experienced agents know how to predict possible problems and solve them before they mushroom into a gigantic headache.

Whatever happens during this period will fall partly on your agent's shoulders. Don't be afraid to ask questions until you understand.