Buying a home is one of the most significant financial decisions most people will make. Homes not only serve the family while they live there but also provide a long-term investment that people may use when it comes time for retirement or other major life transitions. Unfortunately, as many as 70% of home buyers report having at least one regret about their experiences and decisions during the home buying process. Popular markets in states such as Phoenix and California reportedly have higher rates of buyer’s remorse.
As a real estate agent, your goal is to help your clients feel more confident with their decisions and not have any buyers’ remorse. While you can’t predict what they will feel after the purchase, you can manage their expectations during the buying process. Let’s explore some homebuyers’ regrets and how you can help.
Common Sources of Home Buyer’s Remorse
Based on a survey taken by HomeLight, the “Buyer and Seller Insights Report for 2022” identified a few leading factors of home buyers’ regret. Let’s review the most common sources of this regret.
- 22% of buyers felt that they overpaid for their homes. After stepping away from the bidding wars, and finally moving into their new homes, these clients feel that they might have paid too much.
- 22% of buyers underestimated how much they would need to invest in home maintenance. The amount of time and effort required to maintain a home and all of its appliances can be a surprise for new homeowners.
- 20% thought that they had decided too quickly which home to buy. They might have wondered if they would have found a better choice if they had been more selective.
- 18% reported they misunderstood the total costs of owning a home. When calculating home costs, buyers need to look beyond the mortgage and consider the property taxes, insurance costs, maintenance, and costs of upkeep.
- 13% found that the home’s layout did not fit their expectations once they had moved in. Once they got situated in their new home, these homeowners found that the flow and layout of the space did not fit how they wanted to use their home.
- 12% expressed regret that their home was not in a more central location compared to places of interest.
- 12% also wished their home was in an area with a different political climate.
- 10% wished their area had better schools.
As a real estate agent, you can help buyers avoid many of these frustrations with proper preparation during the buying process.
How To Manage Your Client’s Expectations
An informed buyer is a happy buyer, therefore, it’s best to manage your client’s expectations before, during, and after the homebuying process. Most real estate agents overlook the importance of this step as they’re rushing to find the homes that check all of their client’s boxes. However, keeping your clients informed and managing their expectations would limit the chances of buyers’ remorse, and could potentially encourage them to refer you to their friends and family. Here are some ideas to get started.
Provide clients with accurate market research
When your clients approach you and let you know the areas where they would like to find a home, provide them with accurate market research and data. Help them see the price range in their particular area and the types of homes available. This can help give them a broader view of the market to see the types of homes that make up the area and how different central neighborhoods are from other key areas. You can also provide information to help them fully understand the local political climate and the quality of the schools in the area.
Provide facts and statistics about the area
You can also prepare clients by offering facts and statistics about the homes in your real estate market. Let them know information about the typical age of the house and the type of work they might expect, the area’s property taxes, and information about housing insurance.
Share with clients common sources of buyer’s remorse
Let clients know about the common sources of remorse that you have encountered. This information could keep them preemptively aware of common problems and allow them time to discuss among themselves before making a final decision.