Survey Reveals: The #1 Worry That Keeps Homebuyers Up at Night

published Jun 7, 2017
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(Image credit: Lisa Diederich)

Prospective homebuyers: What’s the number one thing that stresses you out about the home buying process? If you’re worried about losing your deposit more than anything, you’re not alone, according to a new survey from

The survey, which asked more than 1,200 people considering buying homes this year about the home buying process, found that 64 percent of prospective homebuyers are afraid they’ll lose their earnest money deposit. (An earnest money deposit, if you’re not familiar, is money the buyer pays the seller in advance to show they’re serious about the home, and can buy them more time to secure financing.)

Along with concerns about losing their deposits, potential homebuyers are also stressed out about the idea of becoming “house poor”—meaning that the costs of a mortgage and other home ownership-related fees would take up the majority of their income, leaving them little or no discretionary money left over for other necessities. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said this was a concern for them.

The possibility of bidding wars driving up the price of a home they want was another stress factor for potential buyers—in fact, more than half (59 percent) of those surveyed said they were worried about it.

Interestingly enough, despite these majorly stressful concerns, the survey found that prospective homebuyers are still willing to make impulse decisions during the home buying process—55 percent said they’d be willing to go beyond their budget in a competitive bid to get their dream home. And for those who would be willing to go beyond their budget, the average amount was $37,809.

With all the added stress and expenses, it’s not surprising that buyers are willing to cut costs any way they can. Eighty-five percent of potential homebuyers said they would consider handling the process on their own (without a real estate agent) if they’d be charged a lower commission (so long as they had access to transaction services like the appraisal or legal documents, according to the survey), and another 23 percent said they would work with a broker or agent who would reward them financially for any work they do on their own.