Musing about Buyers Remorse. That insidious part of real estate that takes great pleasure in showing up like an unwanted guest in the middle of so many escrows. I’m sure Realtors use the phrase too much but what else can we call “it”?
Is there another word to describe all those clandestine meetings that happen in our clients’ heads while they’re struggling to navigate the home-buying process? Or the crazy cascade effect that ratchets-up when their worry centers start tossing “what-Ifs” into the air like random ping pong balls?
Is there another way to describe the crucial moments that inevitably arise when a Buyer’s initial dreaming about a house is forced to confront the reality of actually buying one? Particularly when there’s a flood of decisions that keeps rushing them towards the point of no return known as the close of escrow accompanied by an insistent inner voice that keeps asking: “Yikes, what if I make a mistake? Will God give me a mulligan?”
Yep. Buyers Remorse – it’s a staple of real estate. A dish found hanging around the table whenever the heat gets turned up in the kitchen and the escrow pot starts boiling. A daily special cooked and served up in all kinds of strange and interesting ways. Steamed. Grilled. Poached. And definitely fried.
Funny, the more ways Buyers Remorse gets prepared, the more unprepared I seem to be when it rears its all-too human head. Call it an occupational hazard, the dreaded spectre of escrow- interruptus hangs around like a shadow in every corner of every real estate transaction.
When Buyers fall in love with a house, they are struck by waves of emotion that sweep them forward into the offer process. But as an offer is accepted, the tide turns and immediately they start hiring the equivalent of private detectives, in the form of home, termite and roof Inspectors, to find out everything that’s wrong with the perfect place they just fell in love with.
Meanwhile, their Agent is required by law to keep supplying them with thick tomes of boilerplate warnings detailing ad infinitum, all the things about their future home that could end up harming or killing them. Asbestos. Radon Gas. Lead Paint. Mold. Floods. Earthquakes. Who knew there were this many horsemen of the apocalypse?
Buyers Remorse isn’t some awful, early-escrow-onset, aberration of the psyche. I’m not sure there’s any Buyer on the planet who doesn’t wake up with night-sweats at least once or twice during the course of escrow, plagued by tremors of doubt and existential terror. It’s a completely normal response to the way the real estate process is designed.
Next Week: Sellers Remorse, the other dark meat.