One thing that hot and heavy real estate markets bring is anxiety for buyers. In slower markets, homebuyers have time to leisurely view homes for sale.
Today, they have to act so quickly they let common sense fall by the wayside. Remorse sets in and, can you blame them?
Buying a home is a huge financial commitment and feeling rushed or challenged in a bidding war can make even the strongest buyer develop lingering doubts.
Think about buying a car. Unless you walked onto the lot knowing exactly which make, model, and year you wanted, you may have had to do some comparison shopping. When you finally narrowed down the choices to one, did you hear that little voice in your head that questioned your choice?
“Am I making a huge mistake? Maybe I should choose the Nissan instead of the Honda.”
That, my friend, is known as “cold feet,” and it’s the first symptom of a full-blown attack of buyer’s remorse.
Knowing the signs puts you in a position to help your client and save the deal, so let’s unpack this.
Watch out for these warning signs
Not all buyers prone to remorse will exhibit the same symptoms, but do pay attention if any of the following occur:
- The buyer is concentrating on the minutia when deciding whether to make an offer. “Asking about when the roof was replaced or how old is the water heater are good questions and the buyers are thinking straight,” suggests Conor MacEvilly at myseattlehomesearch.com.
“But when they start asking about the wine stain on the living room floor, the hairlike crack in the kitchen ceiling, and the dripping bathroom faucet before making an offer, you are probably going to end up with one extra picky buyer …,” he concludes.
- The buyer complains of feeling “rushed” or pushed into making an offer. Whether this is because you are actually rushing them (please don’t) or market conditions are putting pressure on them, pay attention to this warning. This is the time to remind them that contingencies are their friends and that nothing is a done deal until those are removed.
Deal with it
Always insist on a buyers’ consultation session before viewing any homes for sale. This is your opportunity to learn more about them and to get a feel for their motivation. It’s an important factor when judging whether they will stick with a deal.
During the consultation, ask them their reasons for buying a home. Here is what you should hope to hear:
- Their monthly housing payment will remain stable (at least with a fixed rate loan)
- Build wealth
- Tax advantages
- Freedom to own a pet and make changes to the home
- Starting a family or a growing family
- Need a larger home to accommodate an aging parent
- Just moved to the area and need to move quickly
- Want to cut their commute time
While there are others, these are strong motivations for a homebuyer. When feet appear to be getting cold during the buying process, remind your client what motivated them to buy in the first place.
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