How Not to Get Your Heart Broken By The One That Got Away

With lots of buyers fighting over a small number of homes, you can put in multiple offers, engage in bidding wars, and get your heart broken (eep!) when your offer isn’t accepted. Here’s how to bounce back.

Bidding War Blues
For many of us, buying is just as much an emotional decision as it is a financial one. Personally, when I look at a house, I imagine myself living my life in it: hosting dinners, having a place for my brother to stay when he’s in town (albeit reluctantly), planting some flowers that will quickly die, and all the other reasons I want to own. It’s a humble dream, but it’s my dream.


When you go through the mental exercise of envisioning your life in a home, it’s hard not to get your heart broken when someone else gets your house! Your dream!
So what do you do when the right one gets away?
You have to get back out there, try to prevent home-offer-heartbreak, and increase your odds of winning. Here’s how:


Make Very Competitive Offers
Do everything you can to make your offer competitive:
  • add an escalation clause that increases gradually up to your maximum price
  • put more earnest money down
  • waive contingencies (only if you’re comfortable doing so, talk to your agent)
  • get pre-approved for a mortgage
  • be flexible with the closing timeline to suit the seller’s needs
  • write a personalized “please sell me this house, I’ll love it forever” letter.​


Try to Manage Your Expectations
Sometimes it can take 5-8 offers before one of yours is wins. So it’s important to try to strike a balance between being realistic about your offer not getting accepted and setting your heart on one, particular house.​


Compromise on Home Requirements
Maybe you’ll have to downsize, skip that rooftop deck, look in a different neighborhood, or decide that you’re buying this home as a step on the real estate ladder, rather than a “forever home.” When you’re trying to get into the market sooner rather than later, compromise is key.


Put the Work In
View lots of homes, and view them often! Try to beat other buyers to the punch, go see homes: in the evening after work, when big games or events are happening, when the weather is nice. You may have to miss out on some fun in the short-term, but the long-term payoff of getting into a house will be worth it. See our top tips for house hunting here.


Don’t Give Up!
You’ll have to keep plugging away, motivating yourself, and trusting that you’ll find a home. The right home with your perfect offer will happen – keep at it!


And if you’re already doing all of this, great! You’re on the path to putting in a perfect offer, it’ll just be a matter of timing and beating the competition.


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