Buyers Remorse–that feeling of anxiety or regret that you made the wrong decision, exists in most every sale. We all question our own buying choices and that little voice is always there. While there is no way to completely avoid buyers remorse, there are ways to lessen it.
Especially for the buyer who is not an “impulse buyer” and likes to carefully weigh their options, this market (in north Texas) can prove incredibly frustrating. The home you see today may not be here tomorrow. While you do have options (and I always encourage my buyers to continue looking while in the option period, if for nothing else but to give themselves peace of mind), you may feel pressured to make the right choice.
Before we discuss how to lessen buyers remorse, lets look at a few things that may be causing buyers remorse in the first place:
-The feeling that you may be missing out on a “better deal”. Whether it’s buying a home, a car, or even getting married, most of us can honestly say we have “been there”. We look for reason to “not buy” xyz instead of justifying the purchase. Go back to the list (perhaps mental) that you made when you began looking and compare your “must-haves” with your “preferences”. If the home doesn’t meet your needs, maybe it is time to move on.
-The Home Costs More than It’s Worth. In this sellers market, with bidding wars running rampant, it’s easy to question your buying logic. You may feel like you’ve paid too much for your home just to “get the home” (ie: an example would be when you have paid 10k over list price to win the offer). Some neighborhoods appraise faster than others, so make sure you have discussed this with your Realtor. If the home appraises for the sales price, and there is a rising trend in the home sales in the area, you have enough logic to rationalize your decision, even when having to pay over list-price to get the home. Afterall, “market value” is not defined by the list-price of a home but more-so what the general public is willing to pay for a particular home (or product).
-Well Meaning Words of Others. Especially as parents, we want the best for our children, and sometimes underestimate their ability in a given process (such as buying a home) of trying to protect them. When people hear that they are taking on “too much”, and hear of all of the horror stories, it’s easy to start to believe them.
-Being Rushed Into the Sale. There are two different types of pressure, one being positive, the other negative. When I meet a new client, for example, especially if they are new to the area, I make sure they know what to expect in this market. If they want a home with xyz features / price / location, and we find it, I will suggest we move forward. Now, on the other hand, if a Realtor (or any sales person) pressures you to buy something that you don’t like / want / that doesn’t meet your needs, they aren’t looking out for your best interests and are obviously just trying to “make a sale”. If there is absolutely no reason you can think of to not move forward, only that you feel that the process is moving faster than you can absorb the information, perhaps submit an offer. A new process is enough to make anyone nervous; it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are making a wrong decision.
-Fear of the Unknown. If it’s just the overwhelming fear of how large the commitment or unknown items are (the neighborhood, the schools, how the taxes or warranty works, for example), then it may be time to do a little more research and ask your Realtor questions. Read “How to Buy a Home-The Cliff Notes”.
Let’s talk about a few ways we can lessen buyers remorse:
-Don’t Waive your Option Period / Inspection. Drastic measures are being taken in this market to win the case of the bidding war. Waiving the option period or inspection is becoming quite common but it’s not one that I agree with. Do your due-diligence and investigate the home you are about to buy. Decreasing the # of option-period days is one thing (I always text my inspector before to “make sure” he is available within the 3-day option period before I even write it on the offer) but waiving it all-together may make you regret a decision rather quickly. Nothing screams buyers remorse faster than moving into your new home and the hot water heater exploding, only to find out it was nearing the end of it’s life cycle and because it was not a negotiated repair during the buyers process, and your home-warranty company will not cover it, then you have to pay out of pocket.
-Know what You’re Looking for Before You Shop. Know what you’re shopping for before you dive into the home-shopping experience. Do some online research and comparatives to know what you get for your money in a particular location so that you can get an idea of what to expect. By doing this, you also know when you’ve come across the best home value for what your money can buy.
-Know WHY You are Buying a Home or Product. Superficial reasons behind making a purchase are more likely to lead to regret. Don’t max out your approval amount or buy something just to “keep up with the Jones’s”.
-Don’t Buy Something You Don’t Really Want Just to See if You Can Get it. Gamblers are out there in all walks of life–don’t be one when you’re gambling on what is to be your future home. You want to buy a home you like, that fits your needs. Don’t submit an offer in a sellers market just to try to “win the game”. (I have actually had a buyer come out and tell me he did this for this very reason).
-Get a Home-Warranty. Get and keep a home-warranty on your home. Even in newer homes, things break down and need repairs or replacement. Keeping a warranty in tact may prevent you from paying an expensive replacement cost out of pocket.
-The Feeling of “Settling”. Again- know what you’re looking for and do your research. If you want a Tudor-Style home and there aren’t any renovated Tudor-Style homes in the area you want for under $200k, then you have to make allowances. Determine the pros and cons of making those allowances to determine what would make you the happiest. Most find that, even when you custom build, there is no “perfect home”.
-Find a Professional to Lead You. Shop around or get a referral from a friend / family member who has had positive results from a particular Realtor. Buying a home is sometimes the largest investment some will make in their entire lives. You want someone representing you who not only knows how to negotiate for you, but to also keep you on track / refocus your goals when things get stressful. There are a lot of moving parts to a real-estate transaction and trust / knowledge is key.
Amy S. Arey, Realtor | Halo Group Realty | 214.901.1341-Cell