Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Don't Have Remorse with Your Next Transaction

Buying or selling a home in Lexington MA is probably the biggest decision you will make in your life time. We all know about Buyer remorse, but in Real Estate there is also such a thing as Seller remorse. Buyers regret that they could have gotten the property for less and Sellers regret that they should have held off for a better offer. I have come across this time and time again during my real estate career so I have come up with a few questions that I like to pass on to my buyers and sellers before we get in to the details of the transaction. If they review the answers to these questions after the transaction is complete they all tend to stay happy with their decisions. And I love happy clients!

1. Before you get started, write down your vision of the life you want to live after the transaction is complete. It’s easy to get distracted during the process, losing sight of what’s really important to you - what motivated you to start the process in the first place. So, before you get started, write out exactly why you made the decision to buy or sell.

Make sure you include your wants, needs, deal-makers and deal-breakers.

2. Ask yourself: how does this decision make me feel? We tend to approach real estate decisions from a place of reason and logic, but sometimes that means we can reason our way right into agreeing to something because it’s easier than sorting out the differences. Believe in your gut and stick to it.

So, before you make any decisions, weigh your alternatives and see how they make you feel. Does the idea of buying a fixer upper scare or excite you? Does the prospect of short selling vs. staying put and getting a second job make you feel excited and free or nervous and on edge? Often, your intuition and physical senses provide the best clues to the right decision - the decision that will not result in remorse after the fact.

3. Manage your own mindset. Don’t fall into the trap of “the grass is greener on the other side” mentality. You hated everything about renting, so you want to buy your own home. But if you do will everything about owning (lenders, lawnmowers and such) make you crazy? Really consider all the options before making any decisions.

4. Live in reality not hypotheticals. So living in a hypothetical world of how much you probably could have gotten the place for, or how much more you might have been able to get from the buyer will just make you crazy. Knowing a ahead of time to ignore the “what-ifs” will help you stay in reality.

5. The Tough Talk. There will be negotiations in a real estate transaction. If you’re the type that finds negotiating excruciating and will do anything to avoid having a conversation about money, do yourself a favor and just suspend that during this deal. If something doesn’t look right on your contract or you don’t understand something in the loan paperwork, ask and keep asking until it is fixed or you completely understand. Let your Real Estate Agent do all the tough negotiations. As long as you know ahead of time what you are willing to except and not except your Agent will do the rest.

7. Affordability. Make sure you go into the home buying process clear on what your comfortable range of monthly housing costs are based on your income and expenses now (not in the future). Make sure to include additional costs for household maintenance/upkeep, taxes, etc. Don’t rely on anyone else to tell you what you can afford.

8. Remorse is Inevitable for some. If you find yourself in a position where you’re experiencing remorse for one unexpected reason or another (unexpected nuisances; noise levels in the neighborhood, a busier street then expected or may the home had unexpected problems or conditions not uncovered until you moved in)

Make a list of those things that are causing you remorse and then get clear on all your options and don’t limit your thinking about what those options might be. Maybe you need to plan and budget for those unexpected repairs over the next few years instead of trying to fix everything at once. Decide which ones are urgent and which can wait.. I love my home and my neighborhood, but was driven to distraction.

I hope these questions and your response to them will help you to not feel remorse when you buy or sell your next home in Lexington MA!

For more information about how I can facilitate your next move, please contact me today.

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