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Cold Feet? Don't Worry. It's a Common Ailment

Cold Feet? Don't Worry. It's a Common Ailment

By Darrin Friedman

You've been searching for weeks or even months, trying to find the home that fulfills all your dreams -- the place where you can imagine your children (or future children) playing in the yard, and where you can come home to the sanctuary you deserve.

And hooray! You've finally found The One! You love this home, and know you are going to be happy there. Your contract is ratified and you are on the way to home ownership.

But then something begins to gnaw at you. At first it's just a little crumb of self-doubt. "Can I really afford it?" you mull over dinner with friends. You know you can, but the questions persist even through dessert.

Then the next day during a meeting at work, you can't stop thinking about that closet in the third bedroom, the one you have designated as your crafting/sewing/eBay room. Is it really big enough?

Later, during a conversation with your mother (who is so proud of you for being able to buy the home in the first place), you agonize over the kitchen. After all, it has a gas oven, like you wanted -- but maybe you should have electric because everyone says it is easier to clean.

The next thing you know, everything you loved about the house is suddenly driving you crazy with worry, and you don't know what to do.

Welcome to what we in the biz call "cold-feet-itis." And you know what? You're not alone. It happens to everyone.

The fact is that buying a home is a huge undertaking, and the emotional toll it takes on those going through it is very real. As REALTORS®, our job is to help you through the process -- the emotional one as well as the logistical one -- and to see you through to the happy ending on the other side.

But in the meantime, here are some tips on how you can survive cold-feet-itis with your health and your self-confidence intact.

1. Remember and trust your first reaction -- You wrote that contract for a reason. You loved that house, and you were certain that it was the right one for you. Hold on to that feeling! Everything that comes afterwards is just the inevitable emotional stuff that happens to everyone. If you didn't have cold feet, there would be something wrong with you. Just try to focus on all the reasons you fell in love in the first place, and plow forward from there. It will be over soon.

2. Trust your REALTOR®-- You chose them for a reason. You have entrusted yourself in their capable hands. They are there to help you through this time. Believe me, they are experts at this part of the process. Unload your worries and fears on them, and they will help you feel better.

3. It's temporary -- These feelings will pass. As you move from one part of the transaction to another, you will find there will be other things with which to concern yourself. Know this and feel confident that both you and your REALTOR® can handle them if you work together.

In the end, cold-feet-itis is a normal affliction that everyone goes through. Not only is it nothing to worry about, but it is actually central to the process. Suffering through this illness alone is the only part that is truly unnecessary. Let the people that love you and represent you help you through it, because as with many things in life, social support is the best medicine of all.