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7 tips to help you beat buyer’s remorse

By Matthew McCormack

Buying your first home can be an emotional experience. It’s not uncommon for people to get attached to a property and bid way past their maximum at auction.

It’s also easy to get buyer’s fatigue and settle for a home that’s not quite right.

That’s why it’s important to take your time – and a step back – to be certain you’re making the right decision. Here are seven tips to help you beat buyer’s remorse.

1. Know what you want

It’s easy to get caught up in the features of a well-presented property. Write a ‘must-have’ checklist and bring it with you to each open-for-inspection to help keep you focused on what you need.

You’ll have to be willing to compromise on some of the things you want, of course. But if a house doesn’t tick all the boxes on your list of essentials, move on. Don’t let impatience force you to settle for a home that’s not quite right.

2. Don’t overcommit

When shopping for your first home, it’s important to set a clear budget – and stick to it. Don’t let the pressure of an auction, a salesperson or your own emotional attachment to the property push you beyond what you can afford.

When the reality of mortgage repayments higher than you can afford sets in, so will buyer’s remorse. Don’t let the pressure of an auction push you beyond what you can afford.

3. Ask for multiple inspections

Open-house inspections can feel rushed and could come with competitive pressure from other buyers. If you like what you see during your first public inspection, ask the agent for a private viewing so you can experience the home at your own pace.

It’s easy to get swept away with the idea of a place, but take this extra time to really imagine yourself living there day to day.

Check the floors, ceiling and walls for cracks, mould, water stains and unevenness. Make sure the doors all sit well on their hinges. Check how convenient the power outlets are in each room.

You might be able to get these things fixed, or use them to attempt to negotiate a better price on the property. Ask the agent for a private viewing so you can experience the home at your own pace.

4. Understand the floor plan

Pay close attention to the floor plan before and after you inspect the home. It could reveal things that you may not notice during a physical inspection – such as lack of storage – and will help you accurately assess the property’s dimensions rather than relying on your memory.

5. Talk to the neighbours

If you’re really serious about a property, a knock on the neighbour’s door with a few polite questions may help you identify any hidden deal-breakers.

You could ask them about traffic or parking congestion, nearby development plans or disruptive neighbours who may affect your enjoyment of your new home.

6. Do your due diligence

It’s essential to organise the appropriate building and pest inspections before signing on the dotted line. Skip this step and you may find yourself with an expensive nightmare on your hands.

7. Sleep on it

Don’t rush into making an offer, even if you love the property. Take a breath after you’ve inspected the home and assess the pros and cons of the property without emotion. If you miss out, remember that there are still new opportunities in the market.

When all else fails, focus on these three key factors: don’t let anyone make you feel rushed or pressured; keep your emotions out of the decision-making process; and take the time to consider the little things.

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