Buyer’s Remorse: What it is, and how to mitigate it in 5 key stages

Podcast May 10, 2023
Maintaining a healthy and pleasant connection with customers throughout the buying or selling process is challenging, even for seasoned realtors. This is because real estate is a very competitive business. The buyer must locate the finest house at the best price. On the seller's side, it's all about maximizing profit. The tension involved with this challenge can often lead to something called buyer's remorse.

Maintaining a healthy and pleasant connection with customers throughout the buying or selling process is challenging, even for seasoned realtors. This is because real estate is a very competitive business. The buyer must locate the finest house at the best price. On the seller’s side, it’s all about maximizing profit. The tension involved with this challenge can often lead to something called buyer’s remorse.

Inspired by a podcast episode by real estate expert Michael Montgomery, this article tackles buyer’s remorse across five critical stages of the buyer’s/seller’s journey through simple, practical tips.

So, what is Buyer’s Remorse?

Buyer’s remorse is a state of mind in which a real estate buyer or seller starts to doubt or regret their decision. This decision could be their choice of a real estate agent or the price for which they bought/sold their property.

As such, buyer’s remorse could negatively affect your client retention potential if not handled with care from the start. Or worse, it could even lead to your immediate loss of clients due to their decision to discontinue working with you.

Treating buyer’s remorse in 5 key stages

Treating buyer’s remorse involves taking thoughtful, proactive gestures to prove to your clients that constantly…

  1. They made the best choice to hire you as their agent, and
  2. They are about to make the best possible deal for their property under the current circumstances.

These steps may help you gain customer loyalty and referrals and boost company recommendations. Here’s how to mitigate buyer’s remorse at each of the 5 stages of the buyer/seller journey.

After the listing presentation, clients are considering pricing, but they’re also considering realtors.

This is a stage where you can truly stand out in the competition with either of two simple, clever steps.

  • You can find something peculiar mentioned during the presentation, something personal to the clients (e.g., their favorite coffee shop, favorite book, favorite restaurant, etc.), then send them something unique that speaks to them.
  • If you can’t find anything personal about them, you can send them a personalized video message/email and a letter or postcard to capture their loyalty. Personalize the message (something in the house, something they mentioned, etc.)

After signing the contract

This stage comes after the purchase/listing agreement and before the house sale. At this point, customers may be wondering about their decision to deal with the real estate agent they just signed up with.

They may be worried about how much work they have in preparing their home. If they’re buying, they may worry about finding a new home; or they may be concerned about current market prices.

At this stage, one of the best strategies you can do is to send them a care package.

  • You may give them a care box to assist them during the listing process. The box might contain hand sanitizer, a shoe-off sign, etc. It would help if you also considered including personal stuff. Local items might be included. If they have kids, bring toys.
  • Another clever idea is to book them dinner at a fancy restaurant. This can be done on both the seller’s and the buyer’s side.

This will help reaffirm their decision to choose us as their agent and decrease buyer’s remorse.

During the buying/selling process

This is the stage where the actual buying/selling process starts taking place. It is, therefore, a very susceptible stage in which you must sustain clients’ trust in choosing you as their agent.

In case their property has been listed for a long time without selling, this might cause them to seriously  doubt their decision. In that case, communication must be apparent, on-point, and on a regular basis.

Also, try to reduce their workload. For example, you can…

  • Send them a cleaning company.
  • If they have dogs, offer them doggy daycare.
  • Offer them ready-made meals so they don’t have to cook.
  • Send them a personalized gift.
  • On the buyer’s side: Consider inviting them to dinner to discuss the process and get them excited about it.

These simple steps can ameliorate most of the tension involved in the buying/selling process, making the experience more comfortable for both parties.

After accepting the offer

This is the stage after both parties have signed their selling/purchase agreements. At this stage:

  • Sellers could be wondering if they could have sold for more.
  • Buyers could be wondering if they could have bought for less or bought something different.

This is an excellent chance to help them confirm their decision by sending them relevant comparables to help them understand that they have bought/sold their property for a great price. For example:

  • If market conditions are dwindling, you can explain to them that the real estate prices came down by X amount in the last month and that they sold just at the right time.
  • On the buyers’ side, you can send them information showing properties that were sold for a higher price despite being of less quality than the one they bought. This will help reduce their buyer’s remorse.

During move-in

In this final stage, the buyers are ready to move into their newly purchased home, and it’s a classic time when buyer’s remorse can kick in. To mitigate this, consider the following:

  • Start by sending them the closing gift with a personalized message or item to congratulate them.
  • Call them a week later to see how things are going. They may need help installing appliances or arranging their home. Sending a handyman could help.

Wrapping up…

If not treated appropriately, buyer’s remorse can have a detrimental impact on your real estate business in the long run. Fortunately, it is very treatable if you approach it right. All you need to do is to be vigilant and address it across all 5 stages of the customer journey.

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