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Study: 80% of Buyers Compromise on Priorities

A study of recent homebuyers found 1 in 4 (22%) unsatisfied with the experience: 30% went over budget and 20% bought in a less-desirable neighborhood.

ST. LOUIS – It’s been a rough real estate market for buyers since the start of 2021, but a few managed to find and purchase their dream home. Still, a study by Anytime Estimate, an online real estate education platform, found that 80% of buyers had to compromise on high-level priorities in order to become homeowners.

The study surveyed 1,001 people who purchased a home in 2021 or 2022 and found almost one in four (22%) weren’t satisfied with the buying experience. A higher percentage – 88% – said the competitive housing market at least had an impact.

Due to a competitive market and lack of inventory, many Americans compromised on their priorities. While 50% of respondents said that finding a home in a good neighborhood was their No. 1 priority, for example, 20% settled for a home in a less-desirable neighborhood.

Four out of five buyers (80%) made more than one offer before succeeding, with two out of five 41% making five or more. The house hunt took one month or more for 61% of buyers, including one in eight (12%) who looked for six months or longer before an offer was accepted.

In part due to lockdowns that made home showings more difficult, more than one in three buyers made at least one offer sight unseen, and 55% bought a fixer-upper. However, almost 25% of the fixer-upper buyers later regretted that decision.

Over asking price

Despite compromising on their home wish list, one-third of buyers still paid over asking price, including 1 in 8 (12%) who paid more than 30% over asking price.

Although Realtors typically recommend offering no more than 1-3% over asking price, 29% of the respondents who paid over asking price said it was 21-30% more – and 12% reported paying at least 30% more.

First-time homebuyers

First-time homebuyers dominated the market in 2021 and 2022, with 70% saying it was their first home. This group, however, struggled to submit attractive offers, and they were 1.6 times more likely than repeat buyers to submit at least 10 offers or to make risky moves, such as making an offer sight unseen.

Forced to make decisions on the spot, it comes as no surprise that nearly three in four recent home buyers (72%) have regrets about their purchase, including spending too much (30%) and buying too quickly (26%).

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