This year’s home-buying season looks nothing like last year’s. With mortgage rates and home prices rising, the best deals are long gone. Furthermore, there are fewer homes for sale now than one year ago. To what lengths will desperate house hunters go to snag the house of their dreams, and what are they most worried about? To get the answers to these questions, Trulia worked with Harris Interactive to conduct an online survey of 2,029 U.S. adults between June 24-26, 2013.

What Did We Learn?

Prospective home buyers are worried.  For many the pain of a booming real estate market translates into serious, potentially immobilizing,  anxiety. As an agent, you need to know the fears and concerns you’re up against. So, here’s the list of serious buyer concerns and how they measure up. We hope you’ll find the data helpful as you’re counseling and selling this summer.

The List

The top worry among all survey respondents who might buy a home someday is that mortgage rates will rise further before they buy (41%), followed by rising prices (37%).

In the hottest markets – those where asking home prices rose more than 15% year-over-year like Las Vegas and Oakland – buyers’ worries are even more intense. In those areas, potential house hunters have heightened concerns about continued price increases, competition from other buyers, and having to decide quickly on a home before it gets snapped up. The only thing that people in the hottest markets worry about less than people in the rest of the country is qualifying for a mortgage.

While rising mortgage rates are the top concern for people if they were to buy a home within the next year, people actually planning to buy within the next year have another main worry: finding a home they like. Tight inventory means slim pickings for buyers. Even though inventory is starting to expand, and rising home prices should bring more for-sale homes onto the market, people who actually want to buy within the next year are feeling the pressure of competing buyers and limited inventory.

House Hunting Worries

Overall

In hottest markets

Planning to buy in next 12 months

Mortgage interest rates would rise before I buy

41%

45%

43%

Home prices would rise before I buy

37%

42%

38%

I would not find a home for sale that I like

36%

38%

43%

I would not qualify for a mortgage

30%

25%

25%

I would have to compete with many other buyers for the home I wanted most

27%

33%

32%

Home prices would fall after I buy

25%

30%

21%

I would have to decide on a home very quickly because homes for sale are not staying on the market for long

19%

26%

30%

Note: only among respondents who plan to buy a home someday. Hottest markets are metros where prices increased more than 15% year-over-year in June according to the Trulia Price Monitor. Exact survey question: “if you were to buy a home this year, in 2013, which of the following, if any, would be among the things that you would worry most about?”

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