Mental Health Awareness Month: Tips For Dealing With Anxiety And Stress in This Dynamic Housing Market -

Buying and selling a home in our competitive market can be extremely stressful and can affect the mental health of Realtors and those involved in the transaction.

One day you’re ready to buy a new house and get a fresh start; the next day you’re overwhelmed by rising prices, competition, and uncertainty. 

Depression and anxiety are pervasive in today’s culture and can be exacerbated by financial woes and stress related to buying or selling a home. 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and experts are weighing in on how buyers and agents can deal with the mounting stress in the current dynamic housing market.  

Agent Britt Lopez with Paragon Realtors said many first-time buyers are stressed right now because almost every listing is getting multiple offers and driving the price up. 

“With the limited funds that first-time buyers generally have, it has been difficult to be able to offer a lot over the list price and also waive the appraisal contingency when writing over list,” she said. “I have found that getting first-time buyers into new construction homes is a little bit easier than existing homes — but the tradeoff with that is, generally they have to move farther away from the city and wait up to a year for the home to be built. Rising interest rates are also causing buyers concern, as they have lowered their purchasing power.”

Heightened Anxiety

HomeLight’s 2022 Buyer and Seller Insight Report suggests that most home buyers are stressed over the competitive market. 

Britt Lopez

“Buyer’s remorse was also a very real thing — 70 percent of buyers nationally said they have at least one regret about their home-buying experience, and cost-based regrets dominate the top four,” said Brooke Lazor, manager of marketing communications for HomeLight. “One in five respondents said they decided which home to buy too quickly. As mortgage rates climb, rushed decisions will become even more common.” 

Partnering with a good Realtor who has the ability to remain calm and focused is key, Lopez explained. 

“This market is very difficult and certainly feels frenetic,” she said. “Making sure they have someone on their side who can manage expectations and help guide them with wise advice is most important. Also, the buyers must be patient. It can take months and many offers before they get a home. So being patient and knowing that it will all work out for the best is key.”

I have to make my mental health a priority so that I am here for my clients during this stressful market.

Britt Lopez

Buying And Selling in a Post-COVID World

Less than 70 percent of agents were optimistic about the housing market during the first quarter of 2022, according to HomeLight’s research. 

During the height of the COVID pandemic, homeowners and potential buyers and sellers re-evaluated their housing situations, Lopez said. 

“So many people are permanently working from home and need office space now,” she said. “That has made people look for a different home. A lot of people can work from anywhere, so even moving across the country to a place they love has been made a reality since COVID. The entire country has seemed to shuffle around with people just picking up and moving. I also think that the people that were in apartments or condos decided they wanted single-family homes post-COVID, especially those living in big cities.” 

The market also has caused some anxiety among buyers with regard to the true value of the home, Lopez added. 

“They’re worried that they are paying too much to get the home and wonder if the market will stay this high while they live there,” she said. “I have many conversations about finances on a daily basis with regard to what we are seeing. I ended up writing a document on how to write a solid offer in a seller’s market so that my clients can better understand what it takes to get a home now. And I stay in contact with my lender friends so they can keep me abreast of the financial side of this market. I think the best way to help others is to provide information so that they can make the best decision for themselves.” 

Managing Your Stress

It’s getting harder to find an affordable starter home with more than two bedrooms, the HomeLight research states. And Dallas residents already are worried about property taxes, redistricting, and making ends meet with the kids at home all summer. 

Bankrate weighed in on the matter, offering tips for coping with a housing market that’s hazardous to buyers’ mental health. 

The purpose of Mental Health Awareness Month, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is to advocate for mental health and access to care. 

Lopez said she works to manage her personal anxiety on a daily basis.

“I have a morning routine that I do every day to help manage my mental state,” Lopez said. “I listen to meditation music and drink my coffee on my front porch and then go for a walk in the neighborhood. This has kept me sane for sure. I also make sure to take time to be with my family and do some fun things each week. I have to make my mental health a priority so that I am here for my clients during this stressful market.”

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