Both buyers and sellers often experience a resistance to change. Although both are actively seeking to move which by definition, triggers a lot of change – resistance is still common.

The real estate buying and selling process can be intimidating. Many complicated decisions are required and a lot of real estate terminology is thrown around.

On top of all that, add the pressure of time-sensitive decisions and the stress of dealing with what is most likely the largest amount of money they’ve ever dealt with. And often, most of the money is borrowed and has to be repaid.  For many people, this is new for them and they are quickly thrust out of their comfort zones.

It’s always easier to delay making a decision, or making a “no” decision, so you don’t have to make the leap into the abyss of change. Plus, the fear of making the wrong decision causes resistance and could ultimately cost the person thousands of dollars in their real estate transaction.

Sellers May Have Irrational Fears

When a Seller received their first offer quickly after the house was listed, the typical reaction is the home was priced too low. They may want to take a “wait and see” attitude. Maybe a higher offer will come along. That also gives them opportunity to second guess their decision to sell in the first place. This resistance can become obvious in many different forms. It might even be based on illogical terms like the closing date, or if a chandelier should be included with the sale of the house.

Buyers, Too…

have irrational fears. Especially if it’s their first offer. Even if the house meets all their criteria, excuses start to emerge. “Let’s keep looking in case there’s something better out there,” is a common reaction. Resistance pops up in a stubbornness to increase offer price, even if there’s just a few thousand dollarss between Buyer & Seller. They may walk away from a deal if a Seller refuses to include a washer/dryer. A washer and dryer cost between $700 & $2,000 – but certainly just an excuse to resist change.

Buyers that resist or hesitate will quickly find out that they are prone to lose their dream properties. Others with more confidence will come in and steal it away.

Stress Induced from Resistance is Commonplace

Real Estate Agents try to help Buyers and Sellers face their resistance and overcome their fears. With proper explanations and advice based on experience, stress, at least in some respect, can be removed from the equation.

Agents can put obstacles in perspective. Is a $5,000 difference in purchase price equivalent to $5 per month of their mortgage payment? If a new washer and dryer has to be purchased, maybe it boils down to saving $4 per day for 5 months. Compare that to a daily cup of coffee on the way to work.

There’s nothing wrong with a buyer or seller wanting to “sleep on it”. While not intentional, this is usually a delaying tactic (because those confident in the transaction know exactly what is and is not good for them). But taking a little time allows for some breathing room to de-stress. Unfortunately, this does not always bring the buyer or seller around to clear thinking. It’s usually not the property or the terms of the deal, but rather a lack of confidence in their decision making process that becomes the hurdle.

If resistance is holding you back, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are you being asked to let go of?
  • What must you substitute in its place?
  • Are your fears real or perceived?
  • Are the benefits to move forward real or perceived?

Overcoming Hurdles

Your real estate agent can help assess the true benefits and/or weaknesses with a given property or transaction. But don’t necessarily take their word for it either. Ask for statistical back-up or a review of similar scenarios that the Realtor is familiar with from experience. Most buyers and sellers will overwhelmingly know that they are making the right decision. At the very least, go for a 60% assuredness (if you settle on a 51% confidence level, you won’t leave yourself much room if you begin to teeter on the fence-top).