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Homebuyer Anxiety Reaches New Levels in 2022 

David Krechevsky
Mar 08, 2022

HomeLight’s 2022 Buyer and Seller Insights Report indicates that over 70% of recent buyers have at least one regret over a recent homebuying decision.

  • 10% of sellers sold their homes without knowing where they would live next.
  • 50% of sellers in the past year sold their home after living in it for five years or less.

Buying or selling a home is naturally a big decision filled with numerous choices, but in a hot market with low inventory, it’s easy understandable that both buyers and sellers can make decisions they later regret.

HomeLight, a real estate technology platform, has published its 2022 Buyer and Seller Insights Report, which found that 70% of buyers nationally had at least one regret about their home-buying experience. 

The survey, conducted by the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based HomeLight, included responses from more than 1,600 people across the United States who had bought or sold a home in the past 12 months.

The results highlight how homebuyers and sellers in the hottest markets across the country have had to navigate through a historically competitive real estate market, resulting in new levels of sight-unseen home purchases, a swell of cash offers, creative buying tactics, dream home compromises, and moving to new locations due to local pandemic policies.

Among the survey’s findings:

  • 10% of sellers sold their homes without knowing where they would live next.
  • 27% of buyers report struggling with anxiety over bidding wars during their home search.
  • 80% of buyers compromised on key home features, and
  • 50% of sellers in the past year sold their home after living in it for five years or less.

The survey found that the pandemic has had an outsized impact on decision-making, as well — nearly one in three buyers who moved to a new city or state stated pandemic policies had affected their decisions, with 26% seeking less restrictive pandemic-related policies and 10% seeking areas with residents taking action to mitigate risk.

“Between mounting inflation, shifting homebuyer priorities, and anxiety from steep bidding wars and cash offers, it’s evident just how quickly the housing market is evolving – and how crucial top real estate agents are in ensuring buyers and sellers achieve the best possible outcome for their individual needs,” said Sumant Sridharan, chief operating officer at HomeLight. “With industry conditions changing rapidly, HomeLight’s findings make it clear that top real estate agents with local market expertise are fundamental in ensuring that anyone can feel confident that they’ll be able to compete and win during one of life’s most important events: buying or selling a home.”

The report also compared buyer priorities and decisions across some of the nation’s hottest markets:

  • 90% of buyers were forced to make at least one compromise in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Denver.
  • 24% of buyers in Los Angeles and 22% of buyers in the San Francisco Bay Area removed offer contingencies to win their home, compared to the 15% national average.
  • 27% of Los Angeles buyers wrote an offer without seeing the home in person, as did 26% in Tampa and Orlando, and 25% in Sacramento.
  • Buyers in Phoenix were more likely to say price was a paramount consideration at 61%, compared to 54% nationally.
  • Buyers in Orlando and Tampa were significantly more likely to say that being close to friends and family was a top location-related consideration for their next home purchase at 37% and 36%, respectively, compared to California markets, which all fell between 19% and 21%.
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