Studies show that it’s possible to develop a strong emotional attachment to an inanimate object, which they describe as a sense of well-being derived from proximity to the object. The object in question might be a beloved toy when we were young, a car, or even a favorite sofa, à la Sheldon of Big Bang Theory.
With this in mind, it’s easy to imagine that seller’s remorse can easily occur when disposing of a significant item, like a house. The exercise might not mean pending homelessness, and may even represent a move for the better, yet many home sellers experience a sense of regret when they finally find a buyer.
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about seller’s remorse when selling a home.
What Is Seller’s Remorse?
Seller’s remorse in real estate is a fairly common occurrence. It describes the nagging doubts that plague home seller’s after closing on the sale of their house.
This is a normal reaction to change, and most sellers go through this mix of emotions when they complete a home sale.
After all, our homes represent safe havens where we can relax and be ourselves. They’re also places where we make memories with family and friends and celebrate many milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, first days of school, and more.
Regardless of your reasons for selling your home, you’re bound to experience a twinge of regret when you finalize the sale, no matter how much you profit from selling your home.
In some cases, home seller’s remorse stems from having no choice but to sell the home, such as:
- Moving to another city for work
- Financial distress
- Imminent foreclosure
If you inherited a home, and you need to sell it, you might experience a sense of sadness remembering the good times you spent there while visiting a family member, and a lingering sense of grief over their passing.
Helping your elderly parents sell their home as they prepare to move on to a retirement home, is another sad sale. After all, their home was once your home, too.
Even selling a run-down house can lead to real estate remorse, due to a sense of failure to make things right again.
In other cases, homeowners might experience elation about finally moving into their dream home, tempered with a sense of loss and some concerns, too. They might wonder if they should have held out for a better offer, or the stresses associated with moving to a new neighborhood.
Dealing With Seller’s Remorse
Home seller regret is a complex emotion that can affect everyone differently, but there are things you can do to move on from these feelings faster. Try some of these tips if you anticipate a bout of seller’s remorse after selling your home:
Dampening the Emotional Attachment to Your Home
Make sure you’re serious about selling your home. Make a list of all the pros and cons, including the things you’ll miss about living there.
It’s hard to say goodbye to your old ways when you move on to the next phase of your life, but focussing on the positive aspects of this change can help ease the process.
Updating familiar parts of the property in anticipation of the sale can help you distance yourself from the home.
If you can’t bear to part with your treasured memories, and you can afford to buy a second home, you could also opt to rent the house instead of selling it, if you can deal with all the hard work involved.
It’s unwise to allow your emotional attachment to slow the progress of your home sale, or tempt you into backing out of the sale. Both the buyer and the listing agent could sue you if you attempt this.What Happens if You Change Your Mind About Selling Your Home?
If you’re considering backing out of your home sale, you must do so before you sign a purchase agreement. This is a legally binding contract between the buyer and the seller.
These agreements typically include contingencies that favor the buyer over the seller. For instance, the buyer might have the right to cancel if your home doesn’t meet certain criteria during a home inspection.
This year alone, buyers have legally canceled 15% of home sale agreements. If the seller backs out of the agreement, the buyer can sue them and file a lien against the property.
If you live in one of the 22 attorney review states, you must allow an attorney to review your purchase agreement before it becomes official.
This can give you one or two days’ leeway if you’re considering backing out of the deal.
Apart from a purchase agreement, you need to sign a listing agreement when you decide to sell your home. This document outlines the procedure for listing, marketing, and selling your home.
When you sign the listing agreement, you agree to pay a commission to the real estate agent for these services. That means they’re entitled to receive something for their efforts if you change your mind and may sue you for the commission they would have earned.
It’s best to anticipate seller’s remorse and seriously consider whether you want to sell your home before you sign anything.
Allaying Fears Surrounding the Sale of Your Home
Some homeowners also experience a fear of missing out on achieving the best prices for their homes. While this was rarely a concern during the real estate boom of the last few years, it’s a growing issue now that the market is cooling.
Knowing the market is one way to allay these fears, and it can ensure you price your home right for a timely and efficient sale. Adjusting your advertised price may put buyers off, and if you list it too high, you might struggle to find any takers.
You must price your home in a way that entices multiple offers, without ending up out of pocket.
If you have concerns about your sale price, get your home professionally evaluated, use a free online valuation tool, or speak to a realtor about compiling a comparative market analysis for your home.
You could also opt to sell your home yourself, and save some money on a real estate agent’s commission.
In the same light, sellers might feel if they hold out a little longer, they could get a better price at a later date.
Selling your home under duress adds an extra layer of stress to the process. A real estate agent can help you work towards a solution that suits your troubles, or you could opt to sell your home fast for cash.
Dampening the Anxiety Associated With Moving
A lack of preparation will trigger home seller regret, so it’s vital to have every detail of your next move planned before you put your home on the market.
In some cases, you can receive multiple offers on your home within days of listing it. This is bound to cause panic if you haven’t figured out your next steps yet.
Once you decide to sell, you’ll spend a lot of your time focused on finding a buyer, negotiating, home improvements, and all the paperwork associated with the sale. Before you know it, you could end up with nowhere to go once the new buyer moves in.
You can opt to buy a new house at the same time as selling your old one, so make sure you can afford to achieve the mortgage you need to do this in time.
A contingent contract is one way to alleviate the risks associated with this process. Some buyers might agree to give you time to find a new house before closing or allow you to rent from them until you do.
Be advised that these types of contingencies can put keen buyers off the deal, so proceed with caution. Finding an alternative rental is difficult amid a housing shortage and an expensive option, and moving in with relatives is never a long-term solution.
Sell Your Home Fast With No Regrets
At the very least, when you sell a home, you can ease your seller’s remorse with the profits you make from the sale, or relief from the financial pressures brought about by homeownership.
When you need cash fast and a conventional sale can’t deliver the relief you need fast enough, working with iBuyer can help ease some of the anxiety associated with selling your home.
We can provide a fair valuation of your house almost instantly and connect you with committed and qualified buyers to hasten the process. Enter your home address and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re getting the best price you can as fast as possible.