homebuyer's remorse
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How To Prevent Pandemic Homebuyer’s Remorse

Tales of pandemic homebuyer’s remorse are becoming more frequent in today’s robust housing market. Protect yourself from regret with these agent insights!

For many homebuyers, the robust housing market has led to intense bidding wars, paying more than listing price and even foregoing inspections. Now, tales of homebuyer’s remorse are starting to echo more frequently. Whether you’ve already purchased and are feeling pangs of regret, or you’re wanting to buy but worried you’ll wind up feeling the same, we’re here to help. Here’s how you can buy wisely, enjoy your investment and keep that dreaded buyer’s remorse at bay!

Don’t Pay Too Much

This might seem like a “well, duh!,” but one of the biggest triggers for homebuyer’s remorse is realizing after closing that you’ve paid too much. The fury of bidding wars can lead buyers to paying more than they had planned—and, especially for first-time buyers, paying more than list price or appraisal values. Many buyers believe that the best way to make their offer stand out in multiple offer situations is to offer more money than the competition, which usually translates to paying more than planned or budgeted. Then, those buyers find it hard to enjoy their beautiful new home because they’ve become “house poor” in their efforts to afford it.

Tip: Appraisals are a third-party valuation of a home. This tool is used to protect a buyer from paying too much. It’s rarely advisable to pay over appraisal value for a home.

Don’t Get Caught in the Rush

We get it—the homebuying process can be overwhelming, especially when a home can receive dozens of offers within hours of coming on the market. It’s not unusual for buyers to make several failed offers on homes before they finally secure one; this can lead to buyer fatigue. Exhausted by the process, buyers can become more desperate, feel more rushed, and are more likely to settle for a home that would otherwise not be considered. The result? You guessed it! Homebuyer’s remorse is much more difficult to prevent if your home isn’t one you love, or doesn’t have the potential to be. The best thing you can do to mitigate this in a seller’s market is to expect (and plan for) the homebuying process to take longer than usual.

Tip: When buyers try to “hurry up” a purchase before a rental lease expires or some other arbitrary deadline, it can lead to desperation and rushing. Remember, even in a low-inventory market, homes are always getting listed, so don’t feel like you have to sacrifice long-term purchase confidence and happiness for short-term, external deadlines. Give yourself adequate time to patiently look for your home so you aren’t rushed. 

Get A Home Inspection

A home inspection is one of the most vital tools in the homebuying process. Home inspections can reveal substantial defects or deferred maintenance which can be costly down the road. However, in this intense market, some buyers are deciding to shoulder the risk and forego inspections to make their offer standout to sellers. This strategy is a recipe for homebuyer’s remorse — along with expensive repairs.

homebuyer's remorse

Sellers won’t always disclose any issues with the home, so foregoing an inspection could leave you and your family vulnerable to issues like infestations, structural instability, and even neighborhood wildlife.

Tip: Always get a home inspection, period. Spending a the smaller amount of money in the near term for an inspection could save thousands of dollars in unplanned emergency repairs in the long run. If you want your offer to stand out without sacrificing your due diligence, consider requesting an inspection but agreeing not to request any repairs from the seller.

Work with a Real Estate Agent

Buying a home entails several legal aspects, financial negotiations, due diligence periods, just to name a few. It’s understandably outside of most people’s wheelhouses or comfort zone. An experienced buyer’s agent is a priceless tool for the buying journey, and working with one is arguably the strongest way to mitigate homebuyer’s remorse.

homebuyer's remorse

Buyer’s agents are trained to follow state and federal laws that protect buyers, assist in making sure all offers are reasonable and minimize risks, and anticipate hurdles that could negatively impact buyers. They know what questions to ask to ensure your investment is one you can be confident with for years to come.

Tip: In many cases, buyer’s agent services are no charge to buyers. However, their service, intuition and experience is priceless to buyers. 

Use a Trusted Home Search Tool

Homebuyer’s remorse doesn’t have to be part of your journey to homeownership. Guide your home search with Homes.com, where you’ll find the most current home listings at your fingertips, and have access to everything you need to know about the buying process with the comprehensive “How-To” guide. You can even calculate the finances of your dream home right inside the listings you choose, making Homes.com the simply smarter way to find, finance, and fall in love with your next home!

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Jennifer is an accidental house flipper turned Realtor and real estate investor. She is the voice behind the blog, Bachelorette Pad Flip. Over five years, Jennifer paid off $70,000 in student loan debt through real estate investing. She's passionate about the power of real estate. She's also passionate about southern cooking, good architecture, and thrift store treasure hunting. She calls Northwest Arkansas home with her cat Smokey, but she has a deep love affair with South Florida.

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