A Contract on a Home is like Being Engaged to be Married: Buyer

by Karen Briscoe
June 6, 2017
June is traditionally known as “wedding month”.  My husband and I will celebrate this month three decades of marriage.  Still after all this time I vividly remember a conversation with one of his sisters shortly after we became engaged.  She said to me:  “Now that you are engaged to marry my brother, please stop looking at other guys.”  It seemed an overly protective sentiment to me as he was about to turn 35.  Over time though I have come to realize she just did not want to see her brother hurt.
This conversation comes to mind as the phenomenon in real estate known as “buyer’s remorse.” During that period of time after an offer for a home has been written and accepted by the seller, often there is reconsideration by the buyer. The buyer wonders things like did they get all the terms they could, did they overpay or is there another better home out there. Often they visit with other parties such as family member or co-workers who plant seeds of doubt or concern about the contract and home. In many cases there are contingencies written into the offer that provide for the purchaser to void the contract if a “deal breaking” issue arises.
What my sister-in-law was saying I believe is that even when an engaged couple is in love, if either person continues to look to see if the “grass is greener on the other side of the fence”, then unhappiness and a “buyer’s remorse” of the soon-to-be marriage partner can occur.  Professional real estate agents see this when buyers continue to look at Internet sites and make requests to see every house that comes new on the market. This can be problematic as the buyer is in a contractual arrangement with a seller. The seller has in effect taken their home off the market, has become engaged to that buyer and is expecting a respectable level of commitment. On the other hand, it can be beneficial to show these other homes as perhaps the buyer could do better. The agent is obligated to represent her client while at the same time be fair to all parties and assure the contract terms are adhered to.
In most cases though, a wandering eye does not benefit any of the parties. Thus I most often recommend to buyer clients to “turn off” the automatic notifications on their device for new listings.  There will always be more homes that come on the market.  Further I advise that when parties are contractually bound in real estate it is similar to being engaged to be married; they should be fully committed to that house!
Karen Briscoe and Lizzy Conroy and their team are active and experienced Realtors® in the Northern Virginia, Washington DC and Maryland market place. Should you or someone you know desire guidance from a professional Realtor®, please visit our website for more information at:  www.HBCGroupKW.com.  Please contact via the means most convenient for you:  703-734-0192, Homes@HBCGroupKW.com
Karen Briscoe is Principal of the Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group (HBC) and author of "Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day". She is an Associate Broker in Virginia, a Certified Luxury Home Market Specialist, and a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors. Karen began her real estate career developing residential lots with the Trammel Crow Company in Dallas, and in commercial real estate with The Staubach Company in the Washington, DC Metro area. Karen has a Masters Degree from Southern Methodist University and her BA from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – her hometown.
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