Although it doesn’t rank as high as some other stressors, purchasing a home is still considered a stressful – though exciting – life event. Here are three easy ways to decrease home buying stress:

Stress buster number 3: Be prepared

Interest rates were really low last year, and my husband and I just weren’t sure if we were ready to buy yet. We wanted more money in savings and for a down payment. Take a close look at your situation and decide if buying a home is a step that you are truly ready to take. If you think you may move from your city in a year or two, or if you aren’t sure what your financial outlook will be, it’s OKAY to wait. You’ll only be setting yourself up for future stress if you force a big purchase you’re not ready for.

Stress buster number 2: Be realistic

There are certain priorities that we decided on before starting our home search. For instance, we prefer two bathrooms, and we also have a favorite neighborhood we can see ourselves living in for a long time. But we also know we can do without one more bedroom, and we can live with popcorn ceilings. There’s nothing wrong with coming up with a list of must-haves, but flexibility is the key to staying stress-free.

Stress buster number 1: A Realtor®

My Realtor® is my secret weapon and number 1 stress buster because he knows exactly how to handle everything that comes our way. He answered our seemingly endless questions and gave us helpful advice about everything from the transaction process to being good homeowners. I never had to worry about what our next step was since he was always there to make sure we were on track. Even as the clock ticked toward closing, I felt at ease knowing my Realtor® was working hard for me.

Real estate transactions are complicated, and quite frankly, I don’t have the time or interest in dealing with every detail. My Realtor® took care of those details for me, so I could focus on finding the right home at the right price. If that’s not a good secret weapon to have for your home search, I don’t know what is.