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75% of homebuyers acknowledge some regret over recent home buy

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

Three-quarters of survey participants who purchased a home in the past 2 years had some regrets about at least one aspect of their new home, according to an analysis released Tuesday by Zillow.

Three-quarters of recent homebuyers expressed regrets about their new homes, according to a new survey by Zillow released Tuesday.

A whopping 75 percent of those who purchased a home in the past two years had regrets about at least one aspect of their new home, according to the survey.

The homebuyer regret is likely driven by the frenzy of last year’s housing market, according to Zillow, with homebuyers feeling pressured to snatch up one of the few houses available amid historically low inventory.

“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 statement.

“This research suggests many of those buyers ended up in a home that was less than ideal,” Garcia added. “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.”

Zillow found the most common regrets homebuyers had was for buying a home that was too small, with 31 percent of respondents expressing this. They also found that 32 percent of buyers regretted buying a house that required more maintenance than they bargained for.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they wished they had done at least one thing differently while 40 percent said they wished they had taken more time to weigh their options before signing.

Buyers headed into this spring's market may have some luck with just that. They’ll likely still find a frenzied, incredibly difficult market, but early indicators point to houses staying on the market for slightly longer than they did in 2021.

While June 2021 saw the average home get snatched up within a week, homes in December lingered on the market an average of 13 days — an increase in time that can make all the difference for buyers under pressure.

To help buyers make a difficult decision they won’t end up regretting, Compass agent Lucas Pinto advised brokers to work to keep their clients focused on a home’s most important features.

“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,” Pinto said in a statement. “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.”

By Ben Verde

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