By Bill Primavera
Today we in the real estate business hear a lot about buyer’s remorse, which means either that a buyer regrets a housing purchase after the fact or walks away from a deal before it is consummated.
But what about the condition known as seller’s remorse?
One might think that sellers would be glad to move on to the next chapter in their lives when they are ready, and if they are hesitant in any way when a buyer comes along, maybe they are just not ready.
Readers of this column would know that my wife and I have had our historic home on the market for a while and, just recently, it has found its perfect young couple to assume its stewardship. The other day, as I was checking the house for the final walk-through, I realized I was feeling those pangs of separation as I walked from room to room, recalling memories of events that have taken place within those walls. At one point, in a small room once used for our young baby, it was almost too much. I suddenly recognized that I was experiencing a certain sense of sadness. Oh, my, I thought, is this the feeling of seller’s remorse?
I had observed the phenomenon just once when making an offer to a seller on behalf of a client. At the height of the “bubble” market, I had found a perfect buyer who offered full price for a home, but the seller dragged his feet in accepting the offer until, finally, his agent told me that he was just unable to deal with selling at that time and was withdrawing the listing.
Actually, in such a case, the listing agent could have demanded her full fee since she had brought a buyer to the table who was ready, willing and able to purchase at the asking price.
A while back I read something about seller’s remorse on About.com, but when I looked it up to refresh my memory, I could no longer find it posted. As luck would have it, however, I found a folder with a print out of the reasons. The website attributed the main cause of seller’s remorse to just not being sufficiently motivated to sell in the first place, because they don’t have a good enough reason to do it.
It was suggested on the site that a prospective seller check with the list of reasons most homeowners sell to see if motivation is really there. Here they are:
- Home is too small for a growing family.
- To upgrade, based on the premise that people long for a bigger, more expensive and grander home.
- To fix a mistake in having bought the wrong kind of house in the first place.
- Job transfer.
- Personal relationships, divorce, new affair, etc.
- Neighborhood changes.
- Empty nest.
- To see family more often.
- To see family less often.
- Health problems.
- Deferred maintenance. Some homeowners prefer to buy a new home rather than fix what needs to be fixed.
- Home improvement perfection. A segment of the population loves to fix up a home, and once it’s perfect, they grow restless and want to start the process all over again.
- Some people can’t stand sitting on equity without having all that money in their pockets.
- Lifestyle change. Some mature Americans want to cash in and buy a co-op or condo with less maintenance and then travel or find some worthwhile work.
As for my wife and me, our house simply became too big for us as empty nesters and we were ready to move on to maintenance-free condo living.
That feeling of sadness I experienced in walking through the house is probably a normal reaction to having sweet memories of our long-term living experience in this special place and we are more than ready for a new chapter in our lives.
Bill Primavera is a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and Founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc. (www.PrimaveraPR.com). His real estate site is www.PrimaveraRealEstate.com, and his blog is www.TheHomeGuru.com. To engage the services of The Home Guru to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.