It is a complicated process that involves strong emotions, it is a home, after all, and what may be the biggest financial investment of your life. Even if the process seems to go smoothly, it only takes one setback to void the deal. Your financing could fail at the last minute, another buyer could submit a higher offer, a home inspection like windows and doors installation could reveal hidden problems, or the appraisal could be below the sale price, affecting the terms of your mortgage. That’s a lot of “bad stuff”.

No matter how hard you try, some aspects of buying a home are simply beyond your control. However, there are ways you can minimize the stress involved and get through the process with fewer bumps along the way.

Studies say that buying or selling a home can be one of the most stressful things in life – along with bankruptcy or divorce. Preparation is the key to reducing anxiety. Breathe, here are some tips to reduce stress when buying or selling:

1. Choose your agent carefully

An experienced agent will be prepared to face any obstacle along the way, minimizing stress for you.

2. Buyers: Make a List before You Search

Creating and prioritizing a list of “I want the house to have …” and “I need the house to have …” is basic before you start searching and looking at properties. Having to think about all of this after you’ve seen the houses will create further anxiety.

3. Buyers: have the pre-approval of the mortgage

Having your finances on point eliminates waiting periods that will make you desperate or with unpleasant surprises once you have found the house of your dreams.

4. Don’t take it personally. It’s

Not about you, it’s about them. Or the market. Or the banks. Try not to take it personally if buyers value your home for less than what you’re asking for, or if a seller turns down what you think is a perfectly reasonable offer.

5. Keep perspective

Consider the worst-case scenario. Do you need to sell your house for food? Are you going to have to sell a kidney? Probably not. Other buyers will appear. Or you will find another house that you like as much as the one you just let go.

6. Focus on something else

Give yourself a break and the pleasure of participating in an activity that requires the full attention of your body and mind. Has anyone said Yoga classes?

7. Spend time with a dog friend.

Treating and playing with animals is clinically proven to lower blood pressure. Also, they won’t interrupt you when you talk if you need to vent.