Buyer’s remorse is a common feeling during the home buying process. You loved your future home when you signed the contract to purchase it, but now you’re not sure if you made the right decision.
What if you acted too quickly and a better house comes on the market next week?
What if you paid too much for the house?
What if something happens to your finances and you can’t make your house payments?
Did I bite off more than I can chew?
There are hundreds… thousands of questions that will run through your mind during the period leading up to closing, the day you actually get the keys to your new home. Most of the questions will be easily answered, but sometimes doubts creep in, making you uncertain if you want to proceed with the purchase. Unless there’s a true reason for concern, your state of mind might simply be a case of Home Buyer’s Remorse.
A home is the most expensive thing most of us ever buy and we all want to be sure we’ve bought the “right” one. Here are some steps to determine if your doubts are buyer’s remorse or an indication that there’s a genuine problem with the home.Find Your Original Wants and Needs List
What was on the list of items you told your Realtor you MUST have, and MUST NOT have? Does this home fit the bill?
- Does the home include the most important things on the list?
- What qualities made the house you chose stand out from the others you looked at?
- Did you find many houses that met your needs or was this one a rarity?
- If you can back out of the contract, is it realistic to think you will find a house that’s “better?”
- What was special about the house just a few days ago and how has it changed–really changed?
Analyzing the facts that lead you to the home will help you sort out your feelings about the contract. Was it truly a poor choice or would you be nervous moving forward on any house?
Situations that can bring on Buyer’s Remorse
Discussions with family and friends.
They usually mean well, but it’s not uncommon for family and friends to question your choice and what you paid for it, especially if it’s your first home purchase and they are seasoned pros. My father as notorious at this game of making me second guess. He never did it to hurt me, he was protecting me in his mind, but for me it was torture and then fear that I was making a mistake.
But do they know the market? It may have been years since they bought a property themselves, and if that’s the case they probably aren’t in touch with current prices. They might even live in another part of the country, in an area where housing costs a fraction of what you can expect to pay at your location. And let’s face it, parents rarely think a house is “good enough” for their children at least that was the case with MY dad.
Continuing to look at houses.
Big mistake. Stop looking at other houses unless you feel the contract has a good chance of falling apart. Ask your Realtor to STOP all auto searches.
Real estate agents who offer no guidance.
Not all agents are equal. A good agent will listen to your concerns, let you know your feelings are valid and normal and provide you options to consider. Some agents do not guide their buyers through the closing process. Unanswered questions can put buyers in a panic mode, especially when it’s their first home. Panic leads to doubt–and ultimately buyer’s remorse.
Contact your agent and others involved in your closing whenever you have a question. It’s their job to help you.
Your own doubts.
Nothing in life is certain, and we tend to think about the uncertainties even more whenever we make important commitments, dwelling on the negative what-ifs instead of looking at the positives.
There are times that the deal can hit a brick wall. The conditions of your contract should allow you to back out with no penalties if:
- You cannot get financing.
- The house does not appraise at a price at or above the contract sales price.
- The home inspections uncover repair issues that the seller will not repair and you are not willing to take on you are willing to take on.
- The survey has encroachments that impair the property.
- A title search uncovers undisclosed easements that give someone else the right to use the property.
- The title search uncovers undisclosed liens that won’t be satisfied at closing.
- There are problems with the deed. For instance, the wife of a former owner never released her rights to the property.
- The property is not insurable.
These (and other serious problems) are all issues that must be resolved before you purchase the property. Let me say these items come up OFTEN and a re a VERY normal part of a transaction, and more times than not can be resolved.
Terminating the contract
There are many ways during the contract to terminate the contract and move on. In St. Louis a few methods stand out as most used times to terminate.
Insurability – Home cannot be insured.
Building Inspection – Seller will not complete repairs requested and you are not willing to take on those repairs.
Financing – You cannot get loan commitment for the loan which you applied.
Prepare Yourself Ahead of Time
The best thing BOTH buyers and sellers can do is to recognize that home buyer’s remorse is a common phenomenon.
Sellers know what you will and will not do and what you can and cannot afford. Your agent will help guide you through this process.
Buyers understand this WILL happen 80% of the time. Understanding why buyer’s remorse occurs helps you prepare for it ahead of time and work through it quickly if it occurs.
In the end, as the buyer, you get to choose what you want to do now. Your agent should be there to advise you, but you have to make the decisions yourself. Only YOU can answer the following questions.
Do I love this home?
Can I see myself in this home for the next 10 plus years?
What 3 things can I NOT wait to do to my new home?
Is this the home i want to make my future memories in?