Buyer’s Remorse: Why 75% of Recent Homebuyers Are Expressing Regrets

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Purchasing a home in a rapidly appreciating and hypercompetitive housing market can feel like winning the lottery. But a new Zillow survey found that 75% of Americans who bought a home since the pandemic have buyer’s remorse.

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The new Zillow survey noted that the top regret cited by recent buyers is that they purchased a home that needs more work or maintenance than expected, with 32% of respondents feeling that way. Another top regret is buying a home that is too small, with 31%. Most recent home shoppers faced buyer burnout, pausing their home search at least once during the process, according to the survey.

“The pandemic-driven feeding frenzy in the for-sale market added challenges for buyers, especially those purchasing for the first time,” Zillow population scientist Manny Garcia said in a press release. “This research suggests many of those buyers ended up in a home that was less than ideal. It’s important to remember that even in a balanced market, most buyers have to make compromises to stay within their budget. However, to minimize regret, aspiring buyers would be wise to establish where they’re willing to compromise and what’s a deal breaker before shopping.”

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In addition, 74% of respondents wish they had done at least one thing differently during the shopping process, with 38% wishing they had spent more time searching for a home or weighing their options. And 28% of them said they would have shopped for and purchased a home in a different area.

Additional key findings include that 81% of buyers said they had to make at least one compromise in order to afford their home, 39% ended up in a location that increased their commute time, and 32% purchased a home that was smaller than they initially planned to buy.

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“Buyers can get distracted by a pretty kitchen or great staging when they should concentrate instead on a home’s two biggest factors: its layout and location. It’s very tough to change both,” Seattle-based Zillow Premier Agent partner Lucas Pinto, team lead at the Lucas Pinto Real Estate Group, Compass, said in the release. “A great agent can reframe a buyer’s home search and keep them focused on their priorities, helping them make a confident, informed purchase decision.”

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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