Purchasing a home is likely one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make – and for investments of this magnitude, it is easy to second-guess yourself.

Questions like “have I made the right decision?,” “did I pay too much?,” “have I taken too much debt?,” or “what if a better property comes up?” can often replace the sense of accomplishment and excitement of owning a new home with that of self-doubt, anxiety, and dread.

Experts call this lingering feeling homebuyers’ remorse – which is a perfectly normal reaction, according to many. Experts believe that it is a normal reaction that reflects your desire to purchase the best property. 

What is homebuyers’ remorse?

Buyer’s remorse, or what psychologists call cognitive dissonance, is that feeling of mental unease and tension that happens when you are at odds with your own thoughts and beliefs. Experts agree that buyers’ remorse can be a common reaction to large financial investments, such as buying a home or buying a vehicle.

Homebuyers can feel this type of regret when their house isn’t as great as they thought. It is possible to be anxious about your financial future and how you will pay the mortgage, if your financial situation changes.

How to avoid experiencing buyer’s remorse

Wallowing in buyer’s remorse is not exactly a great feeling and can get in the way of your happiness and peace of mind at a time when you should be celebrating a major milestone in your life. Here are some tips to help you get over it.

1. Don’t be afraid to trust your judgment.

There are several reasons for choosing a house – maybe it ticked all the boxes of your non-negotiables or you saw the potential for a good investment property. Before you buy a house, do your research. Be prepared. You will be well-prepared.

Metropole Property Strategists chief executive Michael Yardney has some wisdom for those in doubt about purchasing a home.  

“Remember, it’s better to have made a decision and stake your claim in the property market than to have held back because of your fears and not moved ahead to become a homeowner,” he writes. “Look forward to all the good times you and your family will share in your new home, or the great returns you’ll get from your new investment. Sure, the uncertainty of all these new things is scary, but think of all the good times ahead and it will get you through.”

2. You should not be looking at other properties.

The best way to fuel your buyer’s remorse is by constantly looking at other properties as they hit the market. Once you have signed the contract of sale, it is advisable that you stop searching the internet for better properties or driving past houses with “for sale” signs just to make sure did not miss anything. It will be counterproductive and you will question your decision.

3. Filter other people’s opinion.

It is alright to discuss your purchase with family and friends – after all these are the people that genuinely has your best interest at heart. It is a smart idea to ask for their advice and opinions on the market. It is possible that you have not done as much research about the market as they did many years ago. 

4. Keep in mind why your house was chosen.

It’s better to have a home that isn’t perfect than one that has. This can negatively impact your mental health as well as your overall well-being. It is better to go back to your wish-list and remind yourself about the property’s features that made it stand out from the others. These features can all be improved to make your home even better.

5. Talk to your realtor or someone you trust.

Your agent can help you with any doubts or concerns. Sometimes, a little reassurance can go a long way in helping quell the buyer’s remorse you are experiencing. It’s also possible to find people who will support you in your decision. It is important to accept their positive feedback.

If you are experiencing buyer’s remorse, it helps to know that it is something homeowners commonly experience and that you are not alone. It’s better not to dwell on the negative aspects when you buy a home. Instead, be positive and take credit for the things that went well. You can make the necessary adjustments to solve your real concerns.