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Buyers’ Remorse

Buyers’ Remorse

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Ask Phyllis: a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions.

Dear Phyllis,

We purchased our home at the height of the real estate market in 2006 and now are trying to sell it. After being in our home for more than ten years there is very little profit. We had two low offers and then a third. There was a lot of back and forth with the most recent offer. After two weeks we were only $10,000 apart and then the buyer walked away from the deal. We are so frustrated because of COVID and limited showings. Our real estate agent tried to blame us for taking too long to respond to the back and forth of the counter offers – she called it buyer’s remorse. I believe this buyer was never serious in the first place. Do you really think two weeks is too long to put a deal of this magnitude together?


Dear CR,

Successful sellers are in the habit of responding to offers quickly. So much of residential real estate is emotional. Over the course of my real estate career, I have seen buyers walk away for many trivial reasons because emotions run high. It’s best to try to prepare yourself by figuring out in advance what you will and won’t accept. This includes the lowest price, the amount of time you need to move out, etc.

Purchasing a home can be an emotional roller coaster. And the back and forth of countless counters is draining for all parties including the Realtors. I don’t know how many counter offers you and the buyer had but it shouldn’t take more than a day or at most two days to respond to a buyer. While you were mulling over counter offers, new listings and recent price reductions could pique your buyer’s interest.

Over the long term, real estate has proven to be an excellent investment. It’s unfortunate that you are not realizing the profit you anticipated. Hopefully you had many years of enjoyment in your home to offset that. Best of luck on a successful sale.

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