Seller's Remorse

Posted by Kris Lindahl on Thursday, May 7th, 2015 at 11:31am.

When it comes time to sell your North Oaks home it’s important to get clear on your motivation for doing so. If it isn’t obvious, such as to take a job in another town or because of a growing family, you may need to dig deep to discover just why it is you want to sell.

Understanding your motivation for selling, and keeping it top-of-mind during the process, will help prevent seller’s remorse.

What is Seller’s Remorse?

Just as brides and grooms can freak out and leave one another standing at the altar, those involved in a real estate transaction are at risk of the experience as well. It's called “cold feet,” when you leave your fiancé at the altar; in sales, the phenomenon is known as “buyer's remorse.” 

It is symptomized by that sinking feeling the buyer of a big ticket item might get, accompanied by a voice inside that says “Do you really want to do this?”

Sellers experience this reaction as well, and for a number of reasons. If and when second thoughts about selling the home crop up, know that you’re not alone.

What does it Feel Like?

Seller’s remorse may start with a feeling of doubt. Should I really do this? Doubt may turn to apprehension and then a feeling of being overwhelmed.

A tough buyer's market can also lead to a case of cold feet.  Although we here in North Oaks are definitely in a seller’s market right now, as you know real estate markets fluctuate. If buyers are in the driver’s seat and a seller feels beat up to sell the home for less than he feels it’s worth, seller’s remorse may set in.

Then, there is the person that is too emotionally attached to the home and, the closer it gets to closing, the more she feels she just can't part with it after all.  Memories, roots, ties to the neighborhood - all play into these feelings.

Seller's remorse is also tied to the basic psychological resistance to any loss. Especially if the home is being sold due to a death or divorce, the emotions can be quite intense.

The anxiety and regret during the period of a home sale are not irrational feelings.  After all, the sale of your home is one of the biggest financial transactions you will most likely ever make.

How to Nip it in the Bud

Get clear on your reasons for selling. Keep those reasons in mind when an attack of misgiving hits. Trust that you have established a good, market-driven sales price.  This way, if a quick sale happens you won't be beating yourself up, wondering if you should have priced it higher.

Focus on the home you will be moving into when this one sells.  Decorate it in your mind, play with different furniture arrangements, have a virtual barbecue in the backyard.  If you build enough excitement about your future, the present will be something you want out of the way so you can move on.

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