Buying a home is a long-term commitment and the most significant purchase most consumers will make in their lifetime. Thoughts like, “I can't believe I’m spending my entire savings on a down payment” cross a client’s mind when faced with a big price tag. As a realtor, you are in the best position to help clients maintain their initial excitement and not feel overwhelmed.
Home buyers remorse is very common before the final days of closing, but a passing nervous feeling doesn’t need to become a roadblock to a closed sale. Real estate agents have the opportunity to change their marketing approach, reframe the buyer’s mindset, and help clients free up money to afford the home they can stay in for a lifetime.
By keeping buyers in a positive frame of mind after purchase, real estate agents will find new leads, generate more referrals, and get great reviews for helping clients throughout the home buying process.
1. Set Realistic Expectations
Begin by helping clients identify what they expect in a home before they commit to a purchase contract. A simple checklist for them to use across properties can be a major asset in helping home buyers focus on their actual goals.
Is a large backyard important? Or is a backyard that is easily visible from the home office a better solution for buyers with children? Simple questions like these help narrow down the possibilities and therefore decrease the stress on buyers.
Create a webpage and printable list that help discover client’s desired feelings and features. You can set shared expectations with questions, such as:
- What do you like about your current neighborhood?
- What would you miss after moving?
- Are you planning to grow your family?
- Are you looking to streamline or downsize?
- What amenities (grocery stores, coffee shops, playgrounds) do you like to have within walking distance?
2. Separate Needs from Wants
Clients with identifiable needs and wants in hand are less likely to be overwhelmed by decision making. They will be able to cross-reference each property they view or refer back to their list to assure themselves. Help clients begin the home buying process with good habits in place to avoid buyer’s remorse and feel confident when closing on their dream home.
Take the ‘’Desired Features and Feelings” list you already created and narrow it down into a “Needs vs Wants” list
- Use two side-by-side columns (one for Needs and one for Wants)
- Create a checklist that can be applied to every property
- Make the list available digitally or in print
- Save the lists from each client, anonymize, and use as examples for new clients who feel stuck
If a property checks off every part of the “Need” column, but only a few of the “Want,” the buyer is much less likely to be hit with regret.
3. Talk About Money
More than half of American homebuyers will have regrets regarding the cost of their new homes within a year of closing. Keep your clients happy from the beginning and into the future by offering additional services to bolster their confidence in the big financial decision.
- Discuss and establish a budget
- Offer credit repair services to enable better mortgage payment terms
- Teach clients about the grants and loans available for homeowners
- Talk about how putting down a larger down payment will decrease monthly expenses
Incorporating this principle and services into your real estate business will help clients be able to afford a home they want without regret and be able to manage the monthly payments required. Finances are a difficult subject to tackle, so use your real estate experience and the stories of past clients to set the stage for a good discussion to avoid buyer’s remorse.
4. Make a Budget Calculator
An affordability calculator is a great idea for an online real estate business that will help your clients make a decision and generate more leads. Make a tool available that considers:
- Household income after taxes
- Current recurring expenses
- Additional expenses as a homeowner (ex. condo association fees, landscaping, utilities, etc.)
- Deduction of current housing expenses that will no longer apply (ex. Paying for a parking spot, pet rent, etc.)
You can help clients do the basic budget math to understand how much of their income is left to spend on housing and the resulting realistic price range of a house they can afford. There are other online tools to reference and pass along to clients to ensure you don’t miss the mark on their budget.
5. Improve Current Finances
Another way to bypass buyers remorse is to make good financial health a priority in the home buying experience. A tried and true method is to improve a prospective homeowner’s ability to qualify for the right loan. Take the initiative by adding credit counseling and credit repair services on to your real estate business and you will better serve your clients and expand your business.
You will want to offer credit services with the same amount of insight and knowledge as your real estate business. Dive into the basics of credit repair and learn how it can motivate prospective homebuyers by enrolling in credit repair training.
After completing a free training online you can
- Help clients qualify for better loans and have more homes to choose from
- Increases revenue from selling more high-value homes
- Build new trusted relationships
- Qualify more leads across your community with word of mouth advertising