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Buyer's remorse

By | Published: Oct 14, 2009 | 26 Comments

Buyer's remorse -- we've all experienced it as some point in our lives. That's when you think you've found exactly what you want -- whether it's a home, a car or a new piece of furniture -- but once it's yours, you second guess yourself. Did I really make the right purchase? Is there a better condo or house that I should have purchased instead? The following tips from Trulia can help you to avoid getting buyer's remorse...or know what to do if it settles in.

Do some digging

The first step to avoiding buyer's remorse is completing some groundwork before you buy that home. Carefully research the neighborhood where you're looking to move, and make sure it's a good fit for you. Don't buy the first home you see -- thoroughly search the listings on Trulia and on the Multiple Listing Service. Tour several properties, so when you make your choice, you are making an informed one, since you know the types of properties available to you.

Once you find a home you think you like, use Trulia to your full advantage -- pull up the home on Trulia and note the average list and sales prices for similar homes, so you can get a good idea of your target home's value. Research the local market on Trulia and get an idea of whether it's a buyer's or a seller's market, so you know how much leeway you have as a buyer when you're negotiating to buy the property.

Get input from friends and family

Ask for assistance from those who know you best -- your friends and family. They may be able to suggest neighborhoods right for you, as well as point out homes that suit you well. When you do find some properties for sale that you especially like, bring some of your favorite people along and ask them what they see as the home's pluses and minuses. Find out whether they see you living in and enjoying that home.

Seek out the advice of professionals

Get help from those who know everything you need to know about buying a home: your real estate agent, home inspector, lender, financial advisor and attorney. With a big decision like buying a home, you don't want to go it alone.

Before you start searching for a home, talk to a few lenders and get pre-qualified for loans so you know exactly how much home you can afford.

Also, take a long hard look at your finances as a protection against overextending yourself to buy a property. If you have a trusted financial advisor, he or she may be able to offer assistance on this.

Once you begin your house hunt, your real estate agent can help you with scouting out the perfect home and neighborhood and with putting your bid in.

You'll want to have a home inspector conduct an inspection of a home you're considering purchasing, so you'll be truly informed on the property's condition and value, and so you don't end up a with home that'll be a money pit down the road.

Buying a home is a legal transfer of a property, so you'd be smart to hire an attorney once you decide to draw up a contract for a home.

Know your needs and wants

You really need to know yourself when buying a home. Do you really require a large home, or would a smaller, more affordable (and easier to maintain) residence be the right choice? What are your must-haves for a home and what can you do without? If you draw up and prioritize a list of your needs and wants, you'll be better able to zoom in on the type of property that will work best for you.

But if you get buyer's remorse

Even if you do all the prep work and make a well-educated purchase, you still may get buyer's remorse. It's human nature to doubt ourselves. If you do fall prey to buyer's remorse, recall what you liked about the home and why you wanted it. You may see that you're really glad you chose the house with the front porch and quiet backyard, even if the home is smaller than other one's you considered, for example.

You can also try talking it out with friends and family. They may be able to help you see why the home is a good choice for you and that buying it was really a good decision, after all.

And if you're still having doubts, work to make the home your own -- a house might not feel like yours until you take out some of the last owner's personal touches and add some of your own decorating and landscaping.

Finally, remember that buyer's remorse is common. No home is perfect, but there are a lot of things you can do to make it the best one possible for you.


By Jim Paulson,  Wed Jan 6 2010, 23:15
I have a client that is experiencing buyer's remorse and I finally told him that yes it may be possible that somehow, somewhere, sometime, there may be a better deal but keep in mind that you just agreed to get married a few months ago and yet you didn't bother to wait until you met ever available option before making your choice! Once you make the decision (if in fact you did your homework correctly up front) stick to it!
By Connie Wildasinn,  Sun Jan 31 2010, 22:31
Having buyer remorse is a normal part of the buying process... just keep in mind why you wanted to buy in the first place and that the property hit your 'this is it' ... and the feelings you are having will pass... I have had clients pull out only to want and wish they were back in the deal after it is resold again.. and then and forever it is hard to replace that property...
By Henri And Jeri Gutner,  Wed Mar 3 2010, 17:57
If my clients don't like their new home 90 days after they move in, I'll sell it for free, but they have to pick up the other costs. I find that sometimes, if buyers don't save enough cash to make the house "theirs" they regret their decision. Buyers should know ahead of time what the house needs to feel perfect for them and they should pass on the house if they don't have the funds to do that.
By Fred Cope,  Sat Mar 13 2010, 20:25
Buyer's Remorse is like a bad cold: you're bound to get it--but don't let it get you down. Doctor Fred says, "Take two thoughts and call me in the morning."
Thought One--It's is a great house, with lots of potential. and
Thought Two--It's a great investment, and I'm going to invest myself in the increasing of its value.
By Nicole St. Aubin,  Wed May 26 2010, 07:36
I get always buyers remorse with electronic purchases!
By Jeremy & Elyse Glass,  Tue Jun 29 2010, 06:33
Nice guide!
By Bruce Gresh,  Sat Aug 28 2010, 19:25
I have a couple that recently bought a home to relocate to. The remorse part is that now the Mrs. may not want to move away from her close family and friends....it's a 21 hour drive to visit now.....and it may be a bit too far.
By Fran Rokicki,  Fri Sep 10 2010, 16:35
I would advise the client to take their time. Don't rush into decisions. That way, there is plenty of time to consider all of your options. Set a goal and a timeline and stick to it. Owning a home is a wonderful privilege in our country and many people come from across the world, to do so. You have it, now.
Happy home searching:)
By Nancy Corsaut,  Tue Oct 19 2010, 15:07
A great agent can lessen or eliminate buyers remorse. I tell all my clients that I want them to walk away happy and the worst thing in the world is for me to hear that they regret their decision.
By Kristina Johnson,  Wed Oct 20 2010, 22:41
thank you Nancy and Fran...Doc Fred, excellent idea...programming the brain before sleep....really helpful!
Finally Henri...I think with my buyers I will start with "the offer to sell for free"....I am thinking I will be able to stop there! (i hope i hope i hope) slated to close in 8 days!
By Bill Hays,  Thu Nov 4 2010, 23:02
It seems to me that buyer's remorse has a direct correlation to expectations. In some cases it is unavoidable (mainly due to personality type), but I agree with Nancy that the agent can certainly do a lot to set appropriate expectations that will dramatically reduce if not eliminate that bad feeling. A buyer really needs to not only choose a good buyer's agent, but invest the time to really look deeply into the home and their decision before they complete their due diligence period.

I feel it is important that the agent help with that process in pointing out common sense considerations that could create a sense of remorse. Being caught up in the excitement (and sometimes the drama) of the process, buyers can miss some pretty subtle but obvious points that they will discover after escrow closes if not brought to their attention by their Realtor in the midst of the transaction.

It becomes a bit of a philosophical discussion from the standpoint of acting as a Professional Real Estate Consultant vs a Sales Agent understanding that what you have the ability to see and point out could persuade them to walk away from a deal.
By Sean Farley,  Sat Nov 27 2010, 16:43
Buyer's remorse is just as Bill states above in direct allignment with expectations. If you, the buyer, discusses your expectations with your realtor and goes into to solid detail about why certain needs are important than you have started down the right path. The second key piece is to not go in with an expectation that while you might want to get a home for a certain price, that might not be fair market value. I have seen this as a reason for retracting an offer as you might have had other plans to buy new furniture with the 5K you just increased your price. At this point it is important to re-evaluate your priorities of home purchase first, added amenities second. While it is nice to be able to get everything you want up front, it is not always realistic.
The second most important part of finding what you want in a home, is knowing what your budget affords for the expectations you have. Depending on the state and individual market your are searching in, you shouldn't set yourself up for disappointment if 450K gets you a nice 4BR colonial with 2baths with some improvements to kitchen and bathrooms, but at a modest level then don't expect wide open layouts, huge bedrooms, crown moldings, and top end cabinets and hardware. As these are items that come in a home valued at 799K. Each 50K increase in a single middle income town brings with it a new set of expectations.
By Joanne Bernardini,  Sat Jun 18 2011, 08:39
It's not unusual to have buyers remorse, especially with big ticket items. If we've done our jobs as agents and found them the right property and they have fallen in love with it, their "cold feet" will be short lasted. It is especially helpful to remind them that they will lose their deposit money if they back out of the the legal contract!
By Elizabeth,  Wed Jul 13 2011, 19:08
What if you decide not to buy a home because your income is changing. Is there a way to get out of it.
By Bob Jakowinicz,  Tue Oct 18 2011, 09:04
This can be an emotional roller coaster ride to say the least. Watching the news can immediately put someone in the state of fear and remorse, I've seen this more than once. Do you homework upfront to minimize issues later, this will make life easier for everyone involved.
By Paulette Talley,  Mon Dec 5 2011, 17:02
I have never honestly had a buyer who regretted their purchase. I understand that often people panic when they get an accepted offer. They are anxious occasionally when they have to sign a contract and commit to a purchase. Some people back out at that point because it is just not the house for them. Trust the guidance of a good Realtor and you can avoid "buyer's regret". Information, care, thoroughness will give you confidence that you are making the right choice at the right time in the right place.
By Shawn Rosa,  Tue Dec 13 2011, 11:34
worst two words in all of real estate
By Adrian Provost,  Mon Feb 27 2012, 17:19
Buyer's remorse shouldn't occur if the real estate agent did their due diligence.
By Coorsman517,  Fri Mar 16 2012, 08:00
We've found a house--layout perfect--amount of land perfect! BUT no gas lines only oil or electric heat. and....needs at least, a partial fix of roof. Now we have offered the asking price [bank owned house] but are worried there must be better ones for the money in Butler Pa or close by. how to tell this is "right one'? bank has not accepted or rejected bid yet--but we are worried
By Matie,  Fri Jun 15 2012, 02:59
http://www.indexpost.com/ easy search of your dream home
By Jeff Metcalf,  Sat Nov 17 2012, 21:39
Thanks for sharing~
By Judi Monday, CRS,  Tue Jan 7 2014, 05:46
Nothing worse than feeling like you may have bought the wrong home. Doing your due diligence is critical as well as going back to the home as many times as you feel is necessary to make sure its a good fit for you.
By Joseph Tsomik,  Sun May 11 2014, 10:44
These are my tips for resolving home buyer's remorse:
*Be sure your buyer's remorse isn't grounded in reality.
*Don't get bogged down in the negative.
*Stop looking at other houses.
*Stop listening to people who say they could have done better.
*Talk to the real estate agent.
*Check your rights under the law.
*Recognize that buyer's remorse happens to most people.
*Make some small changes to bring a sense of ownership.
*Research, research...and then research again.
*Get pre-approved for an amount you can handle.
By S2h0a1d3e,  Wed May 28 2014, 05:35
For me every purchase from some device to the choice of the house to live in is a great stress and I always realize that I risk a certain amount of means presupposed for the purpose. We often make purchases with borrowed money, whether it's a mortgage or a consumer loan from http://personalmoneyservice.com/, and it makes me always to make careful investigation before I take the final decision. I would admit I am a lucky person who has never yet experienced the buyer's remorse.
By Mark Saunders,  Tue Feb 3 2015, 10:52
Do your homework don't rush into the process/ sometimes a home warranty can help that feeling go away
By Joanie,  Sun Aug 9 2015, 18:45
As a single first time buyer with no family I was hoping to have good guidance and advice from the realtor and finance person. I went through 3 realtors & ultimately selected one(referred by friend) that had been in business many years as well as a seasoned finance person (referred by housing office in Livermore). My realtor didn't even come to closing and mostly had her husband drive us around looking at listings that my previous agent was giving me! She didn't seem to know the area(said she did). She also wanted to chit-chat through my home inspection when I needed to be shadowing him and learning about my house. My finance lady seldom answered her phone or e-mail, didn't give out her cell #, and left town with my offer on her desk until she returned. No matter how much research I did on the people, the house, and the place; no matter how many times I visited the property, or how many questions I asked, I feel that having a homeowner and realtor as a friend or family member would have been key. My experience was a nightmare when it should have been positive. That's my biggest buyers remorse. The house- had I known to even check the socio-economic personality of the various neighborhoods of Tracy instead of the city as a whole, I feel I could have made a better investment. The age of the house and its major systems are at the point of being a little rougher than I thought too. It's some of the many things you don't even know to think about until you've lived here a year OR a good agent can and should advise a Firster without having to ask!.

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