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Buyer's Remorse

Buyer's remorse is the sinking feeling that you paid way, way too much for your new home. Buyer's remorse is compounded by many other anxieties -- that you're getting the world's worst mortgage, that the bottom will fall out of property values in the years after you buy a home, that you'll lose your job and that your health will fail.

We're here to help you deal with fear of overpayment. Those other anxieties are absolutely normal reactions to the uncertainties most of us initially experience. They will go away. If it makes you feel any better, nearly all homebuyers are traumatized by the same concerns while purchasing a home.

You can't deal with buyer's remorse until you accept it for what it is -- raw, naked fear. After you've signed the contract to buy your dream home, you do one or more of the following:

  • Read ads in the real estate section of your local newspaper even more intently than you did before you signed the contract. You're searching for similar or nicer houses with lower asking prices. (You forget that most houses read a lot better in ads than they eyeball when you tour them.)
  • Spend Saturday and Sunday touring open houses. Reading ads isn't enough for you. You pound the pavement, looking for better buys than you got. Seeing, after all, is believing. (Speaking of seeing, you may see the remorseful sellers making the rounds of the same houses that you're looking at, trying to find less-nice properties with bigger asking prices.)
  • Discuss your purchase with friends, neighbors, business associates, and the guy standing behind you while you wait in line to buy movie tickets. (You accept as gospel any wild guess they make that confirms your suspicions.)

After going through these exercises prior to closing and for a couple of months after the purchase (until you're emotionally and physically exhausted), you'll probably discover that your fears are groundless. There's nothing wrong or unusual about your concerns. What is wrong is letting these fears gnaw away at you secretly instead of openly confronting them.

Facts defeat fear. The faster you get the facts you need, the less you'll suffer.

A home can have more than one correct price. Pricing and negotiation are arts, not precise sciences. Don't beat yourself up with asking prices. You're okay as long as your home's purchase price is in line with the sale prices of comparable houses.