Seller's remorse in real estate home sales.
You see more buyer's remorse situations in the day to day of peddling properties. But seller's remorse in real estate home sales happens too more than any of us would like. There are ways to avoid it creeping up and ruining a perfectly good real estate sale.
It all starts with the discussion around the kitchen table after the property tour and before the listing ink is dried and I'm ready to input the real estate details online.
To upload the images, the video, maps, floorplans to all the places that get syndicated to once the agent or broker hit "submit" or "publish".
Habits die hard. Change is more difficult the older you get. A breeding ground petri dish for seller's remorse to bloom. For fear to spread.
When a big change happens in a person's life, easy does it with adjusting the other life dials until clear thinking returns.
It takes time to heal and reflect no matter what age you are during a death. Or sickness, or whatever life experience you are struggling with or facing today surfaces.
Financial strain is often part of the decision to call the local real estate professional.
Wanting to in their head can conflict with the no no, don't move and stay felt in a bleeding heart. Sellers are told from many sources on in the public, in the media what they should or should not do. If enough people tell you they would do this, you should do that, anyone can start to second guess their decision making process. Pushed into selling could be an over aggressive agent or broker too that reminds the owner the market is hot. You better seize the day and let's make hay during the real estate sunshine of a seller's market.
But is the home seller ready to sell?
Can they no longer afford the property or is it just too big, an ark to wander around in now that the kids are gone? Where would they like to move? Where can they see themselves living locally or in another part of the state, maybe to a new one? You learn how much time the seller has given to the thought process of moving from "A" to "B".
What is the motivation to move, have they thought about the next housing step thoroughly?
Over reaction to a life crisis spells M-I-S-T-A-K-E.
Late in life is not the time to be taking foolish steps and regretting you can not retreat. Or can you? You the seller listed the property for sale, priced it so high that you did not really think it would move on the open market. Now what? Is the seller fooling themselves into thinking they really honestly want to sell, because at the time it seems the best solution to their present set of circumstances?
When it comes right down to it, can they, will they sign the deed of conveyance and move along little doggie? Are you sure?
Relying on the "just time will tell" means the homework at the front end was not done that should have been. To save the home buyer the expenses of time, money and frustration. After they acted in good faith and put down the hard earned deposit on the property to say hey. I want this one, am going to take the necessary steps to not let it get away.
Seller's remorse causes guilt all the way around.
It does not just strike one party. The home owner feels badly they cried wolf and thought they meant it. Now the retreat means the real estate agent or broker who has spent time and money is upset. The buyer is too. The lawyer preparing the paperwork, the bank involved in the real estate sale and all the other layers of players involved in a house transaction. Selling or not, that's the home owner's decision to pull out of a sale. But others want, need to be paid regardless.
You don't call the house appraiser and tell them false alarm, stand down.
The home seller that they did the property valuation inspection on, all those comps searched for to use in the appraisal and town information they gathered was all for nothing. The appraiser gets paid for what he does and unless the valuation came in low or the list and costs to correct deficiencies with the home were too high. Pay the man or woman.
When there is a couple involved, or a family situation, before listing to sell, what is the next move gonna look like?
Is the property owner outgrowing their home and needing more bedrooms and baths in a position to buy a bigger, better place? The session with the banker, sitting down to study the numbers to buy another place. How does this domino real estate movie end?
The seller may not be able to get financing and the move is not going to happen. They may need to stay where they are because of too much installment debt and the rations of what's coming in is not covering what's going out in the bank mortgage lender's humble opinion.
More reasons seller's remorse happens and home owners get cold feet, back out of the real estate sale?
The list includes the old home was just about or completely paid for and panic strikes. When a buyer for their old home comes along and the seller considering being a buyer comes to their senses. Asking themselves what am I doing? Why am I taking on debt and leaving the free and easy, peaceful feeling of look mom, no mortgage?
Sometimes it is a case of a second marriage situation and the new wife or husband not liking "the scent of another" that lingers in the home. Instead of "your home", "my home", they want to achieve "our" new home. Either party who moves into the home of another can feel on house arrest. The kids in the blended family feel they are treated differently. No one wants to feel like they are just visiting a home and don't get too comfortable because they may not be staying
Whether it is really financially feasible or not. Love is drug and the new kind can cause a usually conservative home owner to loosen up the purse strings to the point they feel over their head. They panic. They realize they can not touch and turn to dog paddle back to the shore of familiarity. Home sweet home. Suddenly the home they were in a hurry to sell becomes more attractive.
And here comes a hair ball. As the sale coughs, sputters to a halt.
And divorce proceedings paperwork served up start making the sale of the home the last thing on each of their mind when there are bigger fish to fry. The new marriage goes south.
Strike two in life happens and the house becomes the line drawn in the sand in the stand off when one wants to sell, the other not so much.
Just changing wallpaper and paint colors is not good enough if one party feels they are staying in your home, not our house.
So back to what the real estate professional is suppose to do without sounding too much like Dr Phil?
What is to be gained from a house sale and what is the downsize of listing this current home on the open market? More pluses than negatives is a good thing. But what is the motivation to call the agent or broker to plant the silent salesman sign out front on the lawn. And to crank up the marketing machine to get this home listed and sold.
Along the way in the house sale when the seller has doubts and is not so sure they should move. You can remind them of the reasons why and ask what has changed to cause the seller's remorse anxiety?
The move can be overwhelming when collecting lots of stuff means oh my aching back.
How can you help make the seller look forward to a move when they don't know just exactly when and where they are going to move to next? Spell it out.
Here is our planning tips on moving, packing time table, the when to do what in the relocation shuffle. Preparing the seller for the eventual move helps keep the sale on track and showcases the next step that can seem overwhelming until a little hand holding happens. We are service providers, helping guide the process of anything involved in a real estate sale like a little red hen.
Be ready to move today but realize from day one, this house sale dog and pony is going to take some time to play out. Getting ready to stage the place, developing the next neighborhood in an online search if new to the area is all part of what happens upfront that will help the seller's remorse attack from happening when the sale fetches up. And surrender happens as the seller turns back to retreat. Because they had not been properly schooled on the steps we are going to take them through to get to the new home they said they wanted when they made the call to the agent or broker's cell phone.
Let's outline the reasons a sale of their present home made so much sense for a recap class.
The seller can make a contingency of the sale to say "I do" to a buyer ready, willing and able to purchase at the agreed upon price and terms. With a twist that this home sale is contingent upon finding another suitable one. Before letting go of this home.
This toe hold, loop hole contingency can make the seller feel better but sends the signal of doubt to a buyer who is on a strict timetable because the bank does not want anyone else in possession of their asset. And the loan has usually a 45 day windows of opportunity clock ticking louder and louder.
Spending money to buy a home when you don't know for sure when and if the seller is moving is not what most home purchasers want to do. There are other homes to consider and an empty one or one with a seller that is not causing any delays getting out look more and more attractive.
Cold feet, seller's remorse in real estate home sales.
It happens more often when the motivation to sell is weak. Or is linked to too high a price tag. When a home owner says I was not thinking of a sale but would if I could get twice, three times what it is worth, hold up. Over priced properties don't sell remember? And if you represent the seller, if you tell him the home is worth this figure.
You have no business taking an over priced property and talking out of the other side of your mouth to a buyer that you whisper "the home is way over priced, make an offer and let's bring him back to his senses". The seller told you he would only sell at this figure and that left no room for negotiations. Seller's remorse is predictable in these unethical home sale scenarios.
Seller's remorse, when the home owner thinks letting go and giving up is a mistake. They can't give up living on a Maine lake.
They changed their mind. What has changed since listing and wanting to sell? The real estate sale invasion of your home, the delay in moving along when you are not a patient person, the supply and demand of other homes competing with your's Mr., Ms. and Mrs. Seller. When a property owner gets impatient with a sale that is not happening quick enough.
Or the home they wanted to buy is sold, and that is the only one they wanted, the prospects of a successful home sale dim considerable.
Flexible, reasonable, logical are not always sharing the stage alone but with high emotions in a real estate sale.
Because real estate listing and selling involves people. Their lives, their hopes and dreams.
Expectations of the buyer and seller, list them out in writing. Set them early and keep them out where everyone can see them to know their role to hold the real estate sale together. To avoid buyer or seller's remorse from infected a real estate home sale.
Another reason seller's remorse happens is because they take the listing too casual.
If the seller decides a home sale is not such a good idea, they may think just pick up the phone and call off the sale. It is that easy. It is true a listing agreement is a binding legal document. But making anyone do anything they don't want to often means tapping out the digits on the phone or sending off an email to cut to the chase. To confer with an attorney to enforce the legal wordage in what happens when a seller gets remorse and backs out of the sale. When the agent or broker have done their part to put the buyer and seller together for a home sale.
Some people make snap decisions and have no regrets. They don't look back in the rear view mirror of their life. Others worry themselves sick wondering should I stay or should I go? Doubt, anxiety and worry plague many of the buyers and seller's we deal with and a real estate home sale does not always improve a person's life. Backing out of a real estate home sale is upheaval. Not the fun part of our job as a Maine real estate broker for 38 years.
Buying or selling a home is not always the best advice your hair dresser or second cousin can give you down at the club.
What do you want to do, can you buy another home and will this one sell first at this price, in this condition, in this market, with your list of contingencies of a sale? A good seasoned real estate agent, broker, REALTOR knows the score and after a sit down interview can predict with a high degree of accuracy how things will end up down the road.
I did not think it would sell, I did not think it would sell this fast.
These are reasons doubt enters the real estate exercise. Why seller's remorse happens. The thinking that goes on between the ears of the seller who at one time thought selling would be in their best interest.
Seller's remorse happens too when you get too many opinions in an age of everyone has one on what they would do. What you should do, just ask anyone and be prepared. More negative reasons not to then positive ones because risk is involved. What if you make a mistake, what are you missing.
And if a real estate sale bogs down with delay or last minute flare ups to address, it is awfully easy for buyers and sellers to think the sale is becoming tedious, difficult, too expensive.
Maybe it was not meant to be. Not in the cards. Let's stay put Martha. Like surgery, time bleeding out is not your friend in a real estate sale either. Because other life factors come into play and distract or change your perspective on what is best to do in this moment in time. Doubut is the fertilizer of seller's remorse and causes an uneasy, unsettling feeling.
Ask someone when is the best time to buy or sell real estate and get fifty shades of gray answers. Hear enough people tell you I would not do it but you do what you think is best and slow but sure, buyer's and seller's remorse becomes a nagging worry that threatens the real estate sale if not addressed early on.
The seller who decides downsizing maybe is in their best interest. So they list the house for sale. And start kicking tires on smaller models of housing. And then a funny thing happens. They were told they should go smaller but they decide they just can not. Too much to give up that they enjoy and they jumped the gun. They determine I am not ready for the old folks home or to live in a 2 bedroom ranch when they enjoy a house full of kids and relatives who will no longer be able to land at their dinky sized home.
Timing, timing, timing is more important than the three locations we were taught to consider. Is it the right time to make the move? Time will tell and it depends on what is currently available to consider. Not the perfect home that sold last year or the one next year that is not known, not listed yet.
If you can not find a home you like, why would you give up the one you had and be ready to move twice is what a seller should be asked.
To wait, rent, and hope something will come up in the current listings of available homes for sale. The seller thought there would be a slew of homes to consider. When in reality when money is an object there are only a few and they come with their own set of problems to correct which takes money.
The home seller just got the place the way they like it and no repairs, everything is updated and running smoothly. Those homes sell quick, but the next one with a job jar makes the seller turn buyer tired. They don't want to spend all that time and money to remodel and feather the nest to make it feel like home. They start using terms like "if I was twenty years younger..." and they are new at being old.
The golden years. That is not the time in their life for taking chances. When they are young is the best period to take a leap and learn from the lessons learned good or bad. You don't bounce back and recover so easily later in life. Easy does it works best and moderation.
The home that was their parents, grandparents that has been in one family for over a hundred years.
You don't suddenly wake up on day and decide to sell.
The decision comes hard and takes time to get used to which means are you sure Mr. and Mrs Seller? Is a sale the best move when you are obviously so emotionally tied up in this house you made a home with blood, sweat and tears? Will you allow a sale when it comes right down to it? Are you sure?
I have seen lots of elderly especially folks who know the day is coming and that have doubts during the listing. Jitters about what have I done, reassure me again the pros and cons of this home sale. But because it usually takes time to locate the right buyer in the match up to find one ready to buy today. And the seller's get more and more confident, even anxious to sell.
There is nothing like finding another property you really get excited about to help a real estate listing sale move along nicely.
That seller is not going to drag their feet and worries about losing the new home listing that becomes the new apple of their eye. Something better that works more completely for their housing needs is a house that practically sells itself. Because it is a match and can be exciting to start over in a new place with some of the features you had before and a few new ones that enhance the quality of life. Make the day to day easier.
And who would ever ever want to sell a waterfront property in Maine?
They are always scarce, a solid investment you don't want to let go of easily.
When you own a jewel of a Maine lake setting, loosing it is unsettling.
You can't let go or pull the trigger to begin the foot race to a closing.
The same is true with a classic Victorian complete with the turrets. Or with a farmstead spent working a lifetime of pouring in the TLC and working the level to rolling fertile fields, the healthy wooded sections. Enjoying a break to reflect by a brook, a pond or on a river setting.
Often the home seller that at first is torn, thinks he should sell flip flops. Backs down. Decides I am going to die here. That's my final decision. This is where I want to be at home, this home when the end times arrive.
Can you blame them?
Then they add a half or full bath on the ground floor, turn the back den into a master bedroom using the 2nd floor almost not at all. Just a few times a year when the kids come home for a day or two and spend another couple days making the trip to and from the old homestead.
Had one seller, an elderly dad of three kids that are had left the nest. Lived out of state and who were hounding their father, a widower to move down here Dad. We'll put on an apartment for you. And it will save us running up there and all the worry we experience when you don't answer the phone. This Dad calls me and says look. I don't want to move to Ohio. I don't know a soul where they live.
I will be home alone and killing time watching TV reruns of I Love Lucy, Gunsmoke and bored stiff.
Here in my home sweet home I know everyone down at the club, at my church I sing in the choir and take turns with the offering plate when my arthritis is not acting up. It is the guilt of the kids driving the move and who live so far away, are so busy in their own lives that they think this is best for dear old Dad. I tell Dad, tell them you don't want to move. He is a tad cowardly and has a better idea. He asks me "what do I have to list this place for so it will NOT sell?" That is fooling the kids, and the broker is the bad guy hidden behind when the set the price too high home listing won't sell even in the best of real estate markets.
Faking seller's remorse happens too.
When the can't wait, chomping at the bit to get to the real estate closing seller suddenly goes numb and dumb.
The home owner does not provide too many reasons for why they have a change of heart about selling. Won't look me in the eye, seems to be the kind of urgently anxious like when a nature call is ringing. And thanks, please come get you sign right now.
Kill the deal, and no, I'll get back to you if I ever want to sell. (Even though the signed exclusive listing agreement is still current and in force.) Stay tuned. Give it some time to see the behind the scenes back room re-shuffling the deck antics play out.
A few weeks later you see the moving van in the yard where your real estate sign used to be.
And through the grapevine you hear guess you bought the property afterall? The same buyer that was under contract to purchase and suddenly the buyer and seller decide let's cut out the middle man. Who needs him now that the deal is in the works and look at the money we can save. Only had this end run cut the throat of the broker tried twice. We got our commission both times and am not on the sheepish buyer and seller's Christmas card list. In a small town, when you try to work someone over, word gets around and everyone knows beware of their business practice. They will burn you if they can.
The cure for seller's remorse.
Testing for it early on, the prevention that frank discussions bring out into the fresh air and bright sunlight. Hope these tips on what causes seller's remorse and how to handle the panic attacks is useful to other real estate professionals. And if you think you are ready to buy or sell a Maine home, any property listing, let's talk. And see if it is the best idea today to buy, sell, trade a property. And if not today, we'll stay in touch and will be ready when you are.
MOOERS REALTY 69 North ST Houlton ME 04730 USA