How to Avoid Sellers Remorse in Real Estate
Sellers remorse can happen in markets weak and strong. In many real estate markets today, sellers are in the driver’s seat. Inventory is low. Houses are selling for over asking, after a long and sluggish buyers’ market.
It seems like a great time to sell. But how can you know for sure if it’s a great time for you to sell? How do you avoid ‘seller’s remorse’?
1. Develop a strong pricing strategy. Pricing is the most important discussion you can have with your agent. When there’s a disconnect on price, raise it as a red flag from the get-go. If you find yourself resisting your agent’s suggested price, talk through the options or get a second opinion.
You might try going to market with a higher number. If there’s no activity in the first few weeks, you can always reduce the price. But sellers who raise their home’s price are often seen as frenetic, lacking a strategy, and having a clear disconnect with their agent.
2. Have a clear, post-sale plan. The sellers of an Essex, Conn. home heard the market there was hot and that they could get the price they tried to get six months earlier. They’d already done the appropriate clearing out, painting, and fix-it work, and even had the property inspected. Going back on the market was a cakewalk.
But they didn’t expect to receive three offers, all over asking, within hours of their first open house. The buyers they chose wanted to close in 30 days. Unfortunately, the sellers had nowhere to go. They didn’t have a plan.
3. Be prepared to negotiate. The Essex couple decided to wait and see if they could get an even higher price once they had a moving plan in place. In an effort to keep the deal together, their listing agent negotiated a quick close with a 30-day-free rent back and another 30 days rent, in which the sellers would pay the buyer’s new principal, interest, tax, and insurance payments. Everyone won in that scenario.
4. When in doubt, stay out. If you have any doubts about your physical or financial situation, hold off on selling. Watch from the sidelines, and only jump in when you’re truly ready. The biggest mistake you can make is to go on the market and fail to sell—at a time when everything else is selling.