On the heels of our first-ever Agent Appreciation month, Inman is leaping into February with our Residential Finance theme month. Join us as we investigate how buying and selling a home is changing, from companies backing consumers in new ways to integrated services that handle the entire transaction.
If you’d rather not end the evening on a sour note, consider avoiding the homebuying process with your date this Valentine’s Day.
A whopping 77 percent of U.S. homebuyers and 71 percent of U.S. homesellers admitted to fighting with a loved one during the stressful process in the past 10 years, according to a survey commissioned by Zillow and conducted by The Harris Poll.
“We know buying and selling a home can be taxing, but now we know those stressors can cause friction in a relationship,” Amanda Pendleton, Zillow lifestyle expert, said in a statement on Thursday.
Arguments about the homebuying process tended to be about the size or style of home, with 54 percent of couples disagreeing over these questions. When it came to “must-haves” and “deal breakers,” 47 percent of couples clashed over these features.
Behind those arguments, 42 percent of couples fought most frequently over the location or neighborhood of their potential new home, according to the survey results. Another 37 percent of couples reported fighting over their budget and 29 percent disagreed about whether or not to purchase a fixer-upper. Approximately 25 percent of couples argued over mortgage lenders or products, however.
As for homesellers, age seemed to make a significant difference on how likely it was for a couple to argue. Millennials, for instance, were much more likely to argue with a significant other about selling a home — with 85 percent arguing over the transaction — than the 54 percent of baby boomers who argued with loved ones over the process.
“Life experience — and a higher likelihood of being a repeat seller — may help couples weather the tension that can come with a home sale,” Zillow’s study states.
Financial decisions during the home sale were also a significant source of conflict among couples, with 69 percent arguing over either what price to list the home for, whether to drop the price or whether or not to accept an offer.
Other lesser sources of conflict for selling couples were whether to allow anyone to walk through the home during an open house (24 percent argued), whether or not to make repairs (24 percent argued), maintaining a clean house for showings (23 percent argued) and general uncertainty over whether or not the house would sell (21 percent argued).
In June 2019, Zillow also determined in a separate study that 36 percent of home sellers cry at some point during the sale and, overall, are more stressed by selling their home than planning a wedding, becoming a parent or getting fired.