Seller's remorse is an emotional response to a sale on the part of a seller which involves feeling regretful about the sale. This emotion tends to come into play when large items are involved, such as houses, businesses, or cars, but people can also experience seller's remorse over something as simple as a teapot. This emotion is extremely common, and people are well-advised to be prepared for the experience of seller's remorse before they put something up for sale.
A number of factors can be involved in seller's remorse. Some people didn't really want to sell the item in the first place, and they are surprised when the item sells, realizing that they have an emotional connection to the item which makes a sale difficult. Others may think that they could have gotten a better price for the item, or they may feel that the buyer took advantage of them in some way. This is common in transactions where buyer and seller negotiate to arrive at a price.
In some cases, seller's remorse sets in before the deal is completed, in which case the seller may try to back out of the deal. This is known as "getting cold feet," and it is especially common with real estate transactions, because the transaction can take two months or more to complete from the signing of the contract to the end of escrow, leaving lots of room for remorse. While sellers can usually back out without facing legal penalties, they may be obliged to pay damages to the buyers, and to the Realtors® who listed the property and negotiated the sale.
If seller's remorse sets in after a sale, the seller may be tempted to buy the item back. In this case, the seller usually ends up paying more than the item sold for to retrieve the item from the original buyers, and the buyers may be peeved by the process. They can also flat out refuse to sell, leaving the original seller with no recourse.
This emotion is very normal, and people should be ready for it when they make a big sale. It helps to prepare ahead of time to confirm that one is really ready to sell an item, by listing the pros and cons of sale, thinking about a fair price, and talking with friends and family members. Once an item is on the market and negotiations have been entered into, people should try to avoid giving in to seller's remorse, as it can lead to significant problems for everyone involved. Especially in cases where a sales person like a car dealer or Realtor® is handling the item, sellers should remember that this third party makes no money unless the item sells, so it's rather rude to list an item which one has no intention of selling, or to list an item with a very high price which will deter buyers.