Let’s face it: Buying and selling real estate can be a scary process. It is often the single largest transaction that people make, and it is not something most people do every day (unless you are an agent!). Here are the most common fears that buyers have.

  • Every buyer experiences varying levels of fear when purchasing real estate.
  • Whether a first-time or seasoned buyer, the types of fears are similar but can become more involved as one's personal experience with real estate grows.
  • Buyers can manage fears by working with an experienced real estate professional who has encountered a variety of concerns and challenges in every transaction and knows how to mitigate them.

Let’s face it: Buying and selling real estate can be a scary process. It is often the single largest transaction that people make, and it is not something most people do every day (unless you are an agent!).

Whether you are a buyer or seller, everyone has fears surrounding real estate transactions — known and unknown.

Here are the most common fears that buyers have:

1. Price

Are your buyers paying a fair price for the home? What if they are overpaying?

What if similar properties in the area sell for less or prices drop? Should the buyer have waited, or did they pull the trigger too late?

2. Buying a money pit

This is a big concern for every buyer, no matter how novice or seasoned they may be.

What if the inspection finds major issues, or what if there are more problems of a deeper nature discovered upon moving in? If a seller wishes to sell the property “as is,” a buyer wonders “what are they hiding?”

If buyers are planning to renovate, they often worry that the remodeling process will reveal large-scale issues like foundation problems or hidden termite damage that will cost significant amounts of money to repair.

3. The neighbors and the neighborhood

A buyer often fears moving into a neighborhood and discovering it wasn’t what he or she thought it was.

What happened to those nice neighbors who smiled and waved as you drove past? What if the neighbors aren’t friendly or turn out to be strange?

What about discovering the crazy tenants next door, or cars coming and going at all hours of the night at that cute home across the street?

No matter how much due diligence a buyer does, there is no substitute for physically being in the neighborhood 24/7 to know what it is really like. Pitching a tent on a neighbor’s lawn is not always an option.

4. Interest rates

What if the interest rate goes up before your buyer finds something?

This concern wasn’t as prevalent over the last couple of years as it is now. In just a few weeks after the election, interest rates climbed into the 4-percent-plus range and bounced around as high as 4.5 percent, depending on the hour and day they were checked.

This is a real concern for buyers who are likely stretching themselves (isn’t everyone?) to get what they want. A lack of inventory and affordability at varying levels in different markets is stressful enough for buyers — let alone now having to worry about interest rate fluctuations that could affect their comfort level with monthly mortgage payments.

5. The house is not what it seemed

To a certain extent, every buyer falls in love with a home while wearing rose-colored glasses.

The in-person showing creates excitement and anticipation as a buyer starts to envision their life in this space. During the second visit (if the market affords the time for a second look) the buyer starts to mentally move in, and it can be hard sometimes to objectively look at the home to see how it will really work on a day-to-day basis.

What if the floor plan doesn’t work as well as the buyer thought, or the closet and storage situation becomes much more challenging than he or she anticipated?

Sometimes it is easy to rationalize something that is not quite a fit with a “will make it work” attitude. Coupled with the urgency that often accompanies making an offer before multiple offers come in or losing out to another buyer, it can be easy to have a skewed view when under pressure.

Experiencing fear when embarking on one of life’s major milestones is not unusual. The fear of the unknown and doubts often arise.

However, buyers can rest assured knowing that there are ways to mitigate these fears — an experienced agent by their side to guide them every step of the way.

Cara Ameer is a broker associate and Realtor with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Cara Ameer

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