Do you know what is buyer’s remorse?
It’s the feeling of regret for having purchased anything including a home.
Many people might believe that the only way of obtaining that purchase regret is by making a bad deal. And, of course, that is the logical way; but buying a house can involve so much anticipation, expectations, comings-and-goings and straight-out stress, that buyer’s remorse can strike without pity. Not to mention that certain people have that sort of “the grass is greener on the other side” feeling as a personal characteristic, independently of the how the home buying process went, so they will always feel that “half-empty” feeling.
As a real estate agent, there are a few things that you should try to do, if not to prevent buyer’s remorse from happening, at least to deal with the purchase regret when it happens; to help soothe it not only to retain your commission, but to fulfill your mission of having all parties happy with the deal. After all, there’s no buyer’s remorse law once the papers are signed: unless there’s something legitimately wrong with the house – and we know that you are a great responsible real estate agent so the chances of something being wrong with the house after that meticulous home inspection you recommended is slim to none – there’s no way for the home buyer to undo the deal with the home seller.
Here they are:
Plan for buyer’s remorse.
Before your homebuyer has the opportunity to regret their decision, plan for them to have second thoughts about their purchase. Anticipate their purchase regret. Identify potential reasons that your client may use to avoid accepting their purchase and address them. Don’t overdo it, but once they appear in love with a property and ask you to make the offer, check if he/she is for real. Maybe even mention that you usually do this “devil’s advocate” routine for the very reason of preventing them from having a purchase regret. Educate them regarding buyer’s remorse. It takes away the power from it. If they start to freak out later on, they are likely to brush off by remembering that talk and saying “This is normal; people go through it, I’ll be alright”.
Educate the home buyer
If there are already identifiable issues with the real estate in question, educate the home buyer on simple ways to fix any problem. Once the client is assured that there is a solution to any of their problems, it will help them feel secure and make it much easier for them to diffuse the situation once it arises. To sum it up; it’s a mix between showing them the importance of committing to an offer and assuring them that nothing – besides death – is unavoidable.
Remind clients of contractual obligations
Remind your clients of contractual obligations. Here’s’ a scenario: You haven’t even reached the final steps of closing, but it’s too late for you to try our first step because your client is backing out right now and doesn’t want to go through with the deal. His buyer’s remorse is so great he’s not even willing to wait to get the keys and feel how good is to have a new home. He’s just sick of it and now actually hates that house! He wants nothing with it and is yelling at you to get rid of it.
Take a deep breath and remind him of his legal obligations. Most contracts come with consequences for being in breach of contract and chances are – if you’re that down the road – he’ll have to pay a hefty fine and a damaged reputation for you, the real estate agent. Home buyers that back out of a sale because of buyer’s remorse can legally be required to be financially responsible for all home fees until the real estate property is resold. As a real estate agent, it is important to advise your home buyers to make the best decision possible from a real estate agent’s perspective. Remind your clients that paying for homeowner’s association fees, property taxes, and mortgage will be an expensive consequence. And, before all that, never forget to ask for the home seller’s full disclosure so, if it comes down to this, you can find a way to do this without your client having to pay for it.
Remind your clients the reason why they bought the house
Remind your clients why they purchased a property. Once a home buyer decides to make an offer on a house, there is typically an emotional connection behind that purchase. Figure out the root of that connection and remind your home buyer of it somehow. Doing that can help affirm their decision. Sometimes we get so caught up with all the back-and-forth and unexpected developments of a home purchase, that we forget why we are buying a home in the first place. Is it a bigger place for their kids? Is it a fabulous backyard? Is it the proximity to their work, that will save them hours of their lives in commute? Allow the client to envision themselves living in their home and emphasize all of the home’s selling points. This will ultimately help your home buyers to reconnect to their emotional attachment to the property.
Communication and empathy
All in all, what’s number one when trying to avoid buyer’s remorse, is communication and empathy. A real estate agent is morally partly responsible for their client’s purchase regret. So, communicate the whole time. Don’t bring them problems without solutions. Develop a friendly relationship, open up and let them open up. Part of your occupation is to share a huge life moment with your client; let that be a joyous one and not a regretful one.