Most people who purchase a home, do not anticipate regret when they are signing the dotted line. However, many homeowners regret their purchase after the fact. A home is the most expensive thing most of us ever buy and we all want to be sure we’ve bought the “right” one. Below are some questions you should ask yourself before you purchase the house.
- Does the home include the most important things on the list?
- What qualities made the house you chose stand out from the others you looked at?
- Did you find many houses that met your needs or was this one a rarity?
- If you can back out of the contract, is it realistic to think you will find a house that’s “better?”
- What was special about the house just a few days ago and how has it changed— really changed?
Analyzing the facts that lead you to the home will help you sort out your feelings about the purchase contract. Was it truly a poor choice or would you be nervous moving forward on any house? Here are some ways that remorse comes about after the purchase.
Talking to other people who don’t have much knowledge
They usually mean well, but it’s not uncommon for family and friends to question your choice and what you paid for it. Ask yourself, though, do they know the market? It may have been years since they bought a property themselves, and if that’s the case they probably aren’t in touch with current prices. They might even live in another part of the country, in an area where housing costs a fraction of what you can expect to pay at your location. You cannot compare how your parents bought a home years ago with your home today.
Continuing to look at houses.
Big mistake. Stop looking at other houses unless you feel the contract has a good chance of falling apart (you’re not sure the appraisal will be satisfactory, you think the home inspection might uncover serious repair issues, etc.).
Real estate agents who offer no guidance.
Some agents do not guide their buyers through the closing process. Questions and doubts pop up and the agents aren’t around to provide answers and assure their buyers that what they are feeling is normal. Unanswered questions can put buyers in a panic mode, especially when it’s their first home.
Your own doubts.
Nothing in life is certain, and we tend to think about the uncertainties even more whenever we make important commitments, dwelling on the negative what-ifs instead of looking at the positives. There are times that purchases should be halted. The conditions of your contract should allow you to back out with no penalties if:
- You cannot get financing.
- The house does not appraise at a price at or above the contract sales price.
- The home inspections uncover more repair issues than you are willing to take on.
- The property boundary lines are not as represented by the seller.
- A title search uncovers undisclosed easements that give someone else the right to use the property.
- The title search uncovers undisclosed liens that won’t be satisfied at closing.
- There are problems with the deed.
These (and other serious problems) are all issues that must be resolved before you purchase the property.
New Time-Shares and Condos: Check state laws if you are sorry you purchased a new time-share or condo. Many states give buyers the right to cancel a contract if they have a change of heart after signing a purchase contract with the original developer; the laws (usually) don’t cover resale units.
Cancellation Clauses: Cancellation clauses for other purchases might be commonly used in your area. Ask your agent before you sign an offer to purchase a home.
Prepare Yourself Ahead of Time: The best thing you can do is to recognize that home buyer’s remorse is a common phenomenon. Understanding why buyer’s remorse occurs helps you prepare for it ahead of time and work through it quickly if it occurs.