Buyer's remorse is an emotional response that many homebuyers experience during the course of a real estate transaction. The response can take various forms such as feelings of regret, fear, depression or anxiety. Many doubtful questions may arise: Did I buy the right house? What if I lose my job? What if home prices drop? Did I overpay? Is this really the neighbourhood I want to live in? Can I really afford the mortgage payments?
There are hundreds of questions that will run through your mind during the period leading up to closing: the day you actually become the owner of the home. Most of the questions will be simple ones that are easily answered, but sometimes doubts creep in, making you uncertain if you want to proceed with the purchase.
When you decide to buy a new home, you're forced to step outside your current comfort zone and confront the unknown. Your mind may try to compensate psychologically for feelings of uncertainty by mentally undoing the event. In other words, you may try to talk yourself out of buying your dream home. Add feelings of uncertainty to the fear of making a long-term commitment, and it's easy to understand why homebuyers can suffer from bouts of anxiety.
Here are some tips that can help you battle home buyer’s remorse:
1. Prepare yourself
The best way to cope with buyer’s remorse, and minimize its destructiveness, is to make sure that you are well informed. You should find out as much as you can about the home buying process, local home prices and home mortgages.
It's a good idea to study a sample purchase agreement before you buy. Read the contract carefully to make sure that you understand it, and that it says what you think it should. If you have any questions about the purchase agreement, talk to your agent, or real estate attorney.
2. Choose the right agent
In order to make sure that the purchase transaction goes smoothly it is important that you choose the right agent to represent your interests. The right agent will be someone whose experience, knowledge and personality are trustworthy and will allow you to feel comfortable with the whole transaction. Try to find an agent that is familiar and knowledgeable about the neighbourhood and community that you plan to move into.
3. Make sure the property meets your needs
Get out that list of wants and needs you made back when you first started the home shopping process. Does the home you selected include the important features that you want? Provided that you saw a number of homes and thoroughly evaluated what each home had to offer, it’s likely that the house you’re about to buy is the best choice for you.
4. Is the price right?
Feeling certain about the price you are paying for a home is one of the most important factors that can reduce uncertainty and increase your comfort level. If your agent didn't prepare a comparative market analysis for you on the home you are buying, have him or her prepare one for you now.
5. Consider the resale value
As you look at houses in a particular area, think about what all of the houses have in common. Most neighbourhoods are usually built at the same time by the same construction company and will have similar floor plans and similar amenities (excluding possible owner upgrades). Before you consider buying the house with the most upgrades, consider whether or not you want to tackle a remodel. Don’t just consider the cost of the remodel, but also think about the amount of time and headache you can handle. No remodel goes smoothly! If a house with a newer kitchen costs $20,000 more than a house with an older kitchen, and you do not have the time to renovate, it may be still worth buying the house with the new kitchen.
6. Ask questions
No one knows the home better than the seller of the property. If you can find out the seller's motivation for selling you might be able to negotiate a better deal on the house. Try to find out the last time service was performed on the roof, furnace, plumbing and water heating system. Asking the right questions up front can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.
7. Get a home inspection
Save yourself a lot of time in future litigation and renovation by bringing in a licensed, professional home inspector to inspect the home before you buy. If any major problems are found, it will steer you away from a bad decision and/or it will help you negotiate a better price at the negotiating table.
8. Review your finances
You may want to review your finances to confirm that you can afford to make the purchase. Your feelings of remorse are probably unfounded, so the more rational things you can do to put your decision into the proper perspective, the better.
9. Discuss your concerns with your agent
Your agent has seen plenty of cases of home buyer’s remorse and he or she can help put your fears and doubts into perspective.
Remorse is a common feeling during the home buying process. Following the above tips will help you make an educated decision and reduce any remorse you may have.