How to Ease Buyer Hesitation

Working with a real estate agent helps to reassure buyers as well as sellers.

Buying real estate can be a thrilling endeavor. Whether you are a new homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, purchasing property means committing to a momentous decision and a sobering amount of money. Considering the complex paperwork and nuances of negotiations, there is little wonder why some buyers find themselves in a state of paralysis by analysis. This phenomenon is called buyer hesitation and can even affect you, the seller. Read on to examine buyer hesitation and how to combat it to create a seamless real estate buying or selling experience.

What is buyer hesitation?

Buyer hesitation occurs when a buyer wants some object of commerce, has the means to acquire it, but feels reluctant to complete the purchase. The reluctance that keeps the buyer from ping into an investment is a curious inverse to the more common example of binge buying. Experts at Psychology Today describe how anxiety often drives people to buy things they do not need or want. A need for approval, a desire to fit into a certain social standing, or a lack of satisfaction can lead buyers down financially irresponsible paths. Think of Clark Griswold spending his yet-to-be-seen Christmas bonus on a family pool.


The flip side of this equation is buyer hesitation. In this phenomenon, the buyer is plagued by an endless flood of what-ifs and self-doubt. Unlike binge buying, buyer hesitation is on the frugal end of the anxiety spectrum. It can wreak havoc on investment opportunities and leave would-be buyers disappointed.


Even when your potential buyer has done their research, asked the right questions, and prepared beyond all reason, doubt can creep in. Buyer hesitation keeps buyers from enjoying the fruits of their knowledge and can terminate a mutually beneficial real estate deal.


So how do you combat buyer hesitation? Let’s look at how this reaction affects both sides of the transaction and what you can do about it — whether you are buying a home or selling one.

What buyer hesitation means for the buyer

The best thing you can do to avoid buyer’s hesitation is to know precisely what you want and how you will get it. Easier said than done, right? This is where your agent will be beneficial. Once you and your family have decided on non-negotiables (like sizing up to three bedrooms, finding a place with an outdoor area, or settling on a specific neighborhood), you can begin to budget. If you are financing your purchase, speak with your financial manager to understand how much you have for a comfortable down payment — the operative word being comfortable.


Once you know how much you can spend without straining your finances, speak to your agent about all the monthly expenditures for which you should be prepared, like taxes, maintenance, and any homeowners fees. Once you have this number, consider taking a few months to pay that sum into a savings account. That precaution gives you a more precise notion of what it’s like to spend that amount and gives you extra time to consider additional expenses you hadn’t factored in earlier. You’ll be able to walk confidently in the direction of your real estate dreams, knowing you are more than prepared.

What buyer hesitation means for the seller

Selling a home is an exciting and sometimes emotional experience. Perhaps you’ve completed renovations and paid close attention to a carefully curated interior design scheme. You adore the small but charming terrace and the way the light falls throughout the home in spring. You see these features as integral for any buyer. But potential buyers don’t know the daily workings of your house — they focus on the dollar signs and worry about unseen issues.

As the seller, you have a good deal of power. You can ensure the buyers who walk through your door are serious and unlikely to bail at the last minute. How? Your agent will advise you to take small but manageable steps, like scheduling a pre-inspection before listing your home. A pre-inspection allows you, as the seller, to discover and address any necessary repairs before showing your home. Most buyers schedule inspections anyway, but offering one of your own shows good faith and can make a buyer feel much more comfortable working with you and buying your property.

Ask your agent to procure proof of financing, a pre-approval letter, or even a good-faith chat with the buyer’s agent ahead of time. This process can help your agent vet potential purchasers before they carve out time in your schedule. Your agent can advise you on renovations that could elevate your home to the can’t-pass-up level.

Working with a real estate agent

Working with a reputable agent is always a smart move, whether you feel confident about your property purchasing power or need a little extra support. Regardless of which side of the real estate transaction you find yourself on, an agent is like your pilot navigating you to your desired destination.

Selling with an excellent agent

If you are selling your home, an expert real estate agent can guide you through the process to ensure you avoid any snags on which potential buyers can get caught. Your agent considers every angle. What are the factors influencing buyers? What puts them at ease? What do they need to feel confident about their purchase?

A strong agent can offer an ultimate guide to selling that lays out the selling process step by step. Your agent will walk you through the importance of why staging matters and how to strategize a compelling and lucrative listing price that will have potential buyers grabbing the nearest pen to sign that offer letter.

Buying with an excellent agent

And if you are experiencing buyer hesitation, working with an agent will undoubtedly improve your buying confidence. Agents are bound by fiduciary duty, a legal code of ethics stipulating their adherence to real estate law and the commitment to serve their client’s best interests. Knowing your agent is both knowledgeable and ethical may ease your mind about taking advice about the buying process.

What’s next?

Are you interested in buying and selling your New York City property? Contact Mukul “Micky” Lalchandani at Unpided Real Estate today to explore Chelsea real estate, Flatiron District homes for sale, or other NYC neighborhood properties.

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