For the vast majority of Americans, buying a home is the largest purchase they’ll ever make. This is especially true in New York City, where the average home is priced 2.6x higher than the national average, according to StreetEasy® and Zillow® data as of August 2023. Nevertheless, a StreetEasy survey of 501 NYC homeowners conducted by The Harris Poll found that of those who bought their home in the last five years, 71% experienced buyer’s remorse.

On the other hand, selling a home may be the largest influx of cash most Americans see in their lifetime. But StreetEasy’s survey found that 68% of NYC homeowners who sold their home in the last five years experienced seller’s remorse.

Read on to find out what buyers’ and sellers’ biggest regrets were — and how you can avoid making the same mistakes.

Top Regrets Among Buyers

While it’s easy to feel rushed when buying a home — whether it’s stemming from yourself, your shopping partner, your agent, or the sheer competition — it’s important to ensure you’re taking your time. About one in three buyers (32%) regret choosing a home that doesn’t have all their desired amenities, and one in four buyers (26%) regret buying in a location they don’t like. Since you’re likely to want to spend more than a few years in your new place, you want to be sure it’s a home and a neighborhood you’ll be happy with. While it can be hard to assess what it’s like to live somewhere from just one open house, try to spend as much time as you can in the surrounding area before deciding to put in an offer.

The biggest regret for buyers is around paying too much for their home. One in three buyers (33%) regret offering above asking for their home, and more than one in four (29%) regret spending too much money on their home in general. Figuring out what you can afford and locking in a mortgage rate before your search can help lower the risk of remorse over how much you spend on your home.

Ultimately, finding the right agent is key to making a home purchase you won’t regret, and one in five buyers (19%) regret working with an agent they didn’t like. Using a data-driven match to find a real estate agent — one with local expertise who has helped other buyers purchase similar homes — will ensure the relationship is a good fit.

Top Regrets Among Sellers

Sellers are slightly less likely than buyers to have remorse about their experience, but the vast majority still have at least one regret. While 21% regret selling their home at all, sellers were more likely than buyers to have financial-related regrets about the transaction. One in four (25%) regret listing their home at an asking price lower than they needed to, while nearly just as many (23%) regret accepting an offer lower than asking. These regrets may be related to the 22% of sellers who say they regret working with an agent who also represented the buyer. But even before the offer stage, 40% regret the money they spent on renovating or updating their home prior to selling.

Similar to the buying process, many of these regrets could have been avoided had sellers worked with an agent who provided them sound advice that they trusted. After all, nearly one in five sellers (19%) regret working with an agent they didn’t like. In addition to finding an agent with a proven track record of selling similar homes, sellers can keep an eye on the market and use data to inform their pricing strategy.

Thinking About Buying or Selling?

Whether you’re buying, selling, or both, the more informed your decisions are, the less likely you’ll regret them. A skilled buyer’s or seller’s agent, like those in StreetEasy’s Experts Network, can provide you with the knowledge, expertise, and guidance you need. Experts have verified experience helping other buyers and sellers with similar needs to yours. Just contact the StreetEasy Concierge for buyers or sellers, and you’ll be matched with an Expert who’s the best fit for your particular journey.

Additionally, if you’re an NYC homeowner thinking about selling, knowing what your home is worth and how it compares to similar properties is key. Access your Owner Dashboard to take advantage of powerful tools for sellers, including your StreetEasy Valuation, our estimate of your home’s market value. You can also compare your home to similar listings sold or on the market, helping you sell with confidence.


The research was conducted online in The United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of StreetEasy among 756 U.S. adults 18+ who have bought, sold, or rented a property in one of the five NYC boroughs in the past 5 years. The survey was conducted November 18 – December 27, 2022. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 5.5 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. This credible interval will be wider among subsets of the surveyed population of interest.

For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact

StreetEasy is an assumed name of Zillow, Inc. which has a real estate brokerage license in all 50 states and D.C. See real estate licenses. StreetEasy Concierge team members are real estate licensees, however they are not your agents or providing real estate brokerage services on your behalf. StreetEasy does not intend to interfere with any agency agreement you may have with a real estate professional or solicit your business if you are already under contract to purchase or sell property. 

The contents of this article are intended for informational purposes only and not intended as a complete recitation of the market.