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Helping buyers avoid "buyer's remorse"; the hidden deal killer

By | Published: Oct 14, 2009 | 15 Comments

Do you remember the last big ticket item you purchased? Maybe it was a new car, a jet ski, or a brand new Harley Davidson. If you're like most people, as soon as you brought home your new toy you probably felt a pang of distress, a voice in the back of your head that whispered in your ear - What were you thinking! You can't afford that!

Welcome to buyer's remorse - the hidden deal killer. Unlike most transactions, when a buyer agrees to purchase a home, they don't generally take title the same day. Most of the time there are conditions of sale which must be satisfied before a closing can occur. This is dangerous. Why? Because of buyer's remorse! The longer a buyer has to reconsider their decision, the more likely a deal is to fail.

Of course a buyer won't walk up to you and announce: "Hey, I just got a bad case of cold feet." Instead, they will wait for an opportunity to escape the transaction while still saving face. For instance, they may look for issues revealed in an inspection report or a preliminary title report that give them an opportunity to bolt. Is this legal? In most cases if a buyer looks long enough and hard enough at a real estate contract they can find a weasel clause - something that will allow them to withdraw from the sale without penalty.

So how can you help buyers avoid buyer's remorse? Let's look at three ways successful sellers and their agents keep buyers motivated to complete the purchase.

  1. Reconfirm

    Savvy homeowners and their agents get to know the buyer and their motivations for making a purchase. For instance, the purchase may move the buyers closer to work or schools, provide them with a larger home, or give them space to grow a garden. By understanding these underlying motivators, sellers can touch back on these issues from time to time, reconfirming the benefits that completing the purchase will bring to the buyer's lifestyle.

  2. Resell

    Why is your home the best value in the neighborhood? Continue to resell the buyers on their original decision by reminding them of the focus features, value points, and benefits that owning your home will bring to them now and in the future. Also watch for value builders during the transaction - things like homes in your area selling for more money, interest rate decreases, or improving market statistics.

  3. Reassure

    Buyers are naturally anxious. Help calm them down by telling them that everything will be OK. How? Try introducing them to your neighbors, take them on a tour of the local schools, or tell them how and why you fell in love with the home. Another way real estate agents reassure buyers is to show them historic market trend lines demonstrating the long term benefits of owning a home.

By recognizing that all buyers experience some level of buyer's remorse, successful sellers and their agents defuse this natural inclination by employing simple strategies to help buyers successfully calm their nerves.


By ,  Thu Dec 24 2009, 16:49
dig deeper if you can, find out why are they having cold feet and address that issue with your agent. I do agree reconfirming is vital. Remind them how "close this house is to work" or how much the wife loved the kitchen. Sometimes that's all it takes.
By Reynaldo Casapao,  Mon Mar 8 2010, 19:30
Thanks for the info, I will definitely use above information.
By J Mario Preza,  Mon Aug 23 2010, 14:59
Trulia has gone and done it! That's what a buyer experiencing a bout with buyer's remorse might think if they had the presence of mind to delve deeper into the concepts covered by this article titled, Helping buyers avoid "buyer's remorse"; the hidden deal killer.

The truth of the matter is that at any given time during the pending escrow and the subsequent steps to come, most buyers, unless absolutely sold on the whole process AND familiar enough with it so as not to experience these jitters, all buyers get a little uncomfortable with the delays, with the constant request for more information, with the burdensome hoops they have to jump through, etc. The agent who understands and anticipates this, does his/her best to allay the concerns, to anticipate those unavoidable things, and to address all the things one is familiar with by educating the client before hand. There isn't a winning formula to make this process any easier, however, Trulia has gone and done it with this article! Way to go!!
By Grace Keng,  Thu Jan 13 2011, 23:19
I think the best way to avoid the "buyer's remorse" will have your real estate agent (seller's side) to address "ALL" the issue(s) of inspections. If the buyer's agent and buyer can handle those issues then the transcation will be smoother.
Grace Keng
Realtor, CRS, CDPE
By Karen Parsons Fiddler,  Tue May 3 2011, 09:05
And when it happens...the agent needs to be gracious and help them get out of a bad situation. That can be the most important part of our job also.
By Sally,  Sun Jul 17 2011, 21:52
Thank you and God Bless you.
By Shawn Ryan Rosa,  Tue Dec 13 2011, 10:37
good article - reassure clients that they are getting a great deal on the home. they will feel confident of a future capital gain.
By DJ Carter,  Fri Jan 6 2012, 14:39
Definitely good points when dealing with first time and second time home buyers!
By Matie,  Tue Jun 26 2012, 05:45
There isn't a winning formula to make this process any easier, however, Trulia has gone and done it with this article!
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By Judi Monday, CRS,  Sun Dec 22 2013, 12:00
I like the 3Rs...reconfirm, resell, reassure. Simple, to the point and definitely right on the money!
By Carmen Brodeur, JD,  Tue Jan 14 2014, 07:01
Good tips.
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