Every real estate agent works diligently to help their clients find a house that is perfect for them … a place that they can call home for many years. However, some buyers end up moving in only to find that they missed a major issue and buyer’s remorse sets in.
As the pace of the home buying processes picks up, agents have to be on alert for anything that their clients might have missed. You will want to watch for those potential stumbling blocks to be ready.
According to a recent survey by Trulia, 44 percent of Americans have regrets about their current home or the process they went through to select it.
Buyer’s remorse is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of an expensive item such as a house. It may stem from fear of making the wrong choice. According to Realtor.com, there are several key issues that buyers often miss that may lead to buyer’s remorse. These include the neighborhood at night, the daily commute, the CC&Rs, whether a home can be rented, the bedroom-to-bathroom ratio, any needed specialty inspections, features that can’t be changed, potential resale value and the possibility of room to grow.
Beyond danger, the tranquility of a neighborhood on a Tuesday afternoon can change at night when everyone is home from work and school.
Aaron Norris with real estate investment firm the Norris Group, in Riverside, Calif, recounted how he discovered his neighborhood was full of college-age students who packed some nearby houses and attracted partying visitors on weekends.
“We would have six to eight students in a single-family residence, along with all their cars dominating the street parking,” he said.
Know the neighborhood for your clients’ sake.
Knowing the neighborhood also will allow to you plot commute times for your buyers. Knowing this detail can certainly head off any potential issues. Suggest that they map out the commute and drive it to see how it works for them. They may also want to consider alternate routes, too.
Ensure your buyers are aware of any homeowners association. CC&Rs can determine what they can do on their property, including storing an RV or boat.
For buyers who may be looking at a property as an investment, any restrictions that limit renting would be a key issue.
A good agent also will get to know the needs of their buyers and considering the ratio of bedrooms to bathrooms is an easy equation that can be rectified.
According to Michael Schaffer, broker and owner of Reason Real Estate, in Englewood, Colo., homes typically should have a master suite plus at least one additional full bathroom. A main-level powder room also is an attractive feature.
While most home inspectors are generalists, for properties with complex systems such as septic systems and wells, they should be evaluated by a specialist.
Features that can’t be changed are an element that can cause buyer’s remorse.
If you don’t have a hot tub or automatic blinds, those can be added However, a water tower or power lines cannot be moved and might be something that causes your buyers to wish their home was somewhere else.
And many buyers are initially willing to overlook some challenges that impact value. However, after time those challenges could reduce the pool of potential buyers for the property in the future.
And lastly, there is no reason to buy a home that doesn’t have space for the buyer to spread out and grow. You never want your client to buy more home than they can afford, but you don’t want them to find themselves in a house that is too small too soon.
Home size has been a common gripe over the years, especially as housing gets more expensive and people have to settle for smaller spaces, said David Weidner, managing editor for Trulia’s housing economics research team.
“It’s probably not something that has just dawned on people after they’ve been in their home a few years,” he said. “I think many people faced with higher mortgages and higher rents are having to settle for less when it comes to space.”
As a result, agents can help their buying clients avoid buyer’s remorse be helping them do more preparation and research.