Dealing With Buyer’s Remorse

Whenever we’re about to do something momentous for the first time—get married, skydive, bungee-jump, etc.—it’s quite normal to experience cold feet and wonder if we’re doing the right thing. This happens a lot with first-time home buyers, too, only in this case it’s called “buyer’s remorse.”

Second doubts can actually happen to either the buyer or the seller. The seller may start to get sentimental about all the memories the property represents and then suddenly want to keep their home rather than sell it. That’s called “seller’s remorse.”

Buyers, on the other hand, may begin to wonder if they can really afford home ownership, even if they’ve been pre-approved by a lender. Or maybe the buyer starts to second-guess himself and think he could have gotten the property cheaper, or something better will come along.

It’s normal to feel doubts along the way and especially as the closing date gets near. What’s important, though, is to try to understand whether the doubts you have are because of something within you (fear of the unknown, for instance), or because there’s a genuine issue about the home that needs to be resolved. Would you have doubts buying any home, or is it particularly this one?

Early on in the home-buying process, we gave you a checklist to fill out. It indicated which features for you were “must haves,” “nice to haves,” “doesn’t matter” and “no way!” Now would be a good time to go back to that list and compare it to the home you’re about to buy. Ask yourself:

  • Does your soon-to-be new home have everything you had to have? If not, did it make up the difference in some other way? (e.g., it had 90% of what you wanted, but only cost 70% of what you were expecting to pay.)
  • Could you really find something better for the money?
  • What about the home stood out from all the other properties you looked at?
  • What other viable choices did you have?
  • Has anything about the property changed since you decided you wanted it? Or is the thing that changed within you?

You can avoid or at least minimize buyer’s remorse by following some simple guidelines during the home-buying process:

  • Once you’ve found the home you want to buy and the seller has accepted your offer, stop looking at other properties. You’ve heard the old saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” The truth, though, is that it only looks greener from far away. The only reason to keep looking at other properties is if it’s clear you might lose a bidding war, or you’re pretty sure a contingency might not be met.
  • Take your friends’ and family’s advice with a grain of salt. This is especially true if they know nothing about the local market or haven’t purchased a home in many years. Times—and prices—have drastically changed: a 17-room house in Brooklyn, NY that cost $35,000.00 in 1964 is now valued at over $1,500,000.00. A small, two-room apartment in Manhattan costs more money per month to rent than a typical monthly mortgage payment for most four-bedroom, 2-story homes with large yards in central Ohio.

Of course, the best thing you can do to minimize buyer’s remorse is stay in touch with your realtor, especially after the Purchase Agreement has been signed. If you any have doubts, call your realtor about them. She has seen buyer’s remorse many times over the years and will be able to help you work through your concerns. Realize, too, that you can’t just get out of a contract for buyer’s remorse; once the contract has been signed, the only valid reasons to back out are because contingencies in the contract have not been met.

Call Susanne today at 614-975-9650 to talk through whether the doubts you may be having are real concerns about the property that need to be resolved, or whether they’re simply buyer’s remorse rearing its head.