What is seller's remorse?
There are two types of seller's remorse:
One is the emotional feeling that you are doing the wrong thing. It is usually not rational, just a fear, insecurity or uncertainty playing tricks on your mind. Questions like: Do we have enough time to move? Did we sell too cheap?
The second type is also emotional but involves personal ties and memories. Living a long time in a home may hold memories of your children, or family members who have passed on. Once you start packing you may come across a lost memory or reminisce about the children's growing years. Some sellers realize they are not ready for a change.
While experiencing seller's remorse is not uncommon, after all, the home sale transaction is one of the largest financial transactions you'll ever make and it is one that's wrought with emotion. Your best defense against a paralyzing case of seller's remorse is to have a thorough understanding of why you decided to sell in the first place and to know that you initially arrived at an equitable and profitable sale price.
Some additional tips, which can help you to battle the seller's remorse you are feeling, are listed below:
1. An established set of motives listing why you decided to sell can come in handy should you find yourself in a panic over a fast or imminent sale. The list can be a simple list of selling pros and cons. If your decision to sell was initially well thought out and well planned, your list of pros will outweigh the cons. Reviewing the list often will help you to lose the feeling of doom you may have.
2. Trusting your asking price and knowing that you negotiated to the best of your ability may help stave off a bad case of seller' remorse, particularly if you're prone to obsessing on the final sale price. Just because your home sold within a few days of listing doesn't mean the home was under priced-it may simply mean that the home was properly priced and you did an excellent job of marketing the home to prospective homebuyers.
3. Reviewing for-sale home ads and visiting open houses may also help you come to terms with your final sale price. You'll likely learn that there really aren't home sellers out there who are getting more money for a lesser house. If you go down this road, keep in mind that asking prices are just that and it is the final sale price that matters.
4. Talk to your friends and neighbors who have sold homes and learn how they dealt with the seller's remorse they felt. It may just help knowing that the remorse is a common byproduct of this emotional transaction and that your feelings of dread or regret will fade with time.
Quick cures for seller's remorse
You are one of the lucky ones. You have found a buyer for your home and have a purchase agreement signed by all parties. All should be grand.
Then it hits: a major case of seller's remorse. You're having second thoughts about selling your home. There's only one thing to do. Call the buyer and back out of the sale, right?
Before you make that "I've changed my mind!" phone call and hear the screaming on the other end of the line, understand your legal obligations and penalties under the purchase agreement. Decide if you're prepared to handle the worst-case scenario and evaluate what you'll be giving up if you do back out.
1. First of all, understand that getting cold feet is normal for both sellers and buyers. Usually this malady hits buyers first, in part because they are writing the cheque for the earnest money deposit, applying for the loan-things that deal directly with the parting with money.
2. Sellers, on the other hand, usually have a major case of cold feet when they start to make arrangements for moving or when they start to pack things up. And, unfortunately, this is often late in the transaction, causing the buyer's response to be anything but understanding. That's why it is very important to know what recourse the buyer could have against you if you don't complete the sale.
3. Depending on how the purchase agreement is written, the buyer could sue you for specific performance. This means that the buyer would take you to court to make you go through with the sale, as you agreed to in the contract. You face legal costs and could end up parting with the house after all.
4. The buyer could sue you for damages. Depending on what the buyer has done toward closing the sale (outlay of loan costs, money for moving arrangements, etc.) you might be responsible for recouping those costs in the form of damages.
5. And when evaluating the cost of not completing a sale, don't forget that your initial intention was to sell. And if you back out now but later want to sell, you'll need to go through the entire marketing, waiting, negotiating and closing process all over again.
If nothing else, this should be enough to convince you to complete the sale and move on with your life.