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How to manage buyer’s remorse

January 21, 2015

Buying a home with remorse is about as guaranteed for some as death and taxes. It happens to us all unless, of course, you have money to burn and you purchase homes like the rest of us do coffee.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case for most of us. We invariably suffer the doubts, fears and worries once we’ve signed on the dotted line. Is the house too big or small for our needs? Did we pay too much? Is something wrong with it? Will we get along with the neighbours? Will the house be a happy home? What if we see something we like better?

Our anxieties and fears emanate from the fact that purchasing a house is a large and life-changing event. But there are ways to calm your concerns, says Rob Golfi, a sales representative with Remax Escarpment Realty Inc.

Before you purchase do your homework, he recommends. Ensure that the property and neighbourhood meet your needs. Hire the right realtor. Determine your price and stick to it. Think about the home’s resale value.

“Ask 1001 questions and don’t be afraid to discuss concerns or issues with your agent,” Golfi says. “If the agent isn’t receptive find a new one.”

So let’s say you’ve done all that and now you’re simply waiting till you get possession. And still buyer’s remorse haunts you. Put down the Xanax because there are healthier ways to deal with your angst. Here are some suggestions:

Check Your List – Before setting out to purchase your home you probably made up a list, either in your mind or on paper, of wants and needs. Review this list now.

How does your house stack up? What attributes made you select this home? Did finding this home take a lot of showings? It’s important that you analyze the facts as this may help you discover why you’re now feeling remorseful. Perhaps you’d feel this way regardless of the house.

Stop Talking About It – Initially you were pumped so you told anyone who’d listen and that, of course, means friends, family and neighbours. But often your closest allies will be your harshest critics, questioning how much you paid for the house or the neighbourhood you selected or even the style of home you picked. You’re best to stop telling people about the house. And if you can, tune out the questions and criticism that comes your way.

At the same time, you may have moved to a certain neighbourhood because it’s near family and good friends. Seek out those individuals who will support and encourage your decision. Ask them to remind you about the positive things you had to say just after buying the house.

Freeze Further House Hunting – Do this immediately. This will only cause you more pain.

Your Realtor Can Help – It’s normal for questions, doubts and fears to crop up that you don’t have the answers to. Unanswered questions, especially for first-time home buyers, can turn a mole hill into a mountain prompting more worry and anxiety. Your realtor can help ease your panic. Remember, it’s their job to help you through the anxiety-provoking process of buying a home.

Make It Your Own – Once you’re in the house, put your own stamp on it by painting, renovating and decorating in your inimitable style. Your remorse is more likely to fade after you’ve transformed your new home in colours and styles that suit only you.

Don’t Obsess – The stress of purchasing a home that you now regret can be all encompassing. Try to remember that life if more than your house. Maintain your exercise and fitness routines, your time with friends and family, your leisure activities. Hang out with the kids and remember that a move affects them too. How are your children doing? Do they like their new school? Take time to travel or get away for a weekend. Don’t let the house overwhelm you.

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