Losing out on a home

Losing out on a home you wanted stings, but these tips help you react in the right way.

It’s easy to get emotionally attached to a home before you even own it. In fact, that’s a key component of successful real estate sales—the agent needs you to envision your family in the home, and to picture all of the great moments and occasions you will celebrate there. Then you will be more motivated to buy that house, perhaps even going beyond your intended price limit.

You want to find a house that you instinctively love, one that feels like home. That’s the ideal—if it all works out. The downside is that you might be in for a letdown if the sale ends up falling through and your would-be dream house slips through your fingers.

For most people, buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It is also likely the biggest financial purchase of your life. Such a significant milestone naturally has a lot of emotional ties. But real estate can be tricky and often unpredictable, so you may find yourself on an emotional roller coaster before you finally get the keys to your next place.

How to get over losing out on a home

  1. 1. Don’t waste time on what might have been.

    Once a house is no longer an option for you, put it behind you and move on. Obsessing over it is just a waste of valuable time—and isn’t great for your state of mind.

  2. 2. Focus on your next opportunity.

    One of the best ways to get over a house you wanted is to take the “one door opens when another closes” perspective. For whatever reason, that house just wasn’t meant to be. Think of this as a sign that it wasn’t the right fit for your family. That means your perfect home is still out there, waiting for you to discover it.

  3. 3. Reevaluate your approach.

    This missed opportunity may be a good time for you to assess your search criteria and buying strategy. Perhaps you weren’t focusing on the most important priorities, so consider whether you need to adjust your search parameters. Also, consider whether your budget is realistic for the type of houses you’re checking out. There’s no sense setting yourself up for disappointment by browsing homes that are way beyond what you can afford.

  4. 4. Understand your market.

    In certain areas, the chances that your offer (at least, your first offer) will be accepted may be relatively slim. In a competitive marker, sellers may have their choice of offers—and popular homes may go quickly, perhaps at a significant amount above the list price. Knowing the current landscape in your local market helps in knowing whether the odds may be stacked against you—and whether you should prepare yourself that you may have at least a few false starts before you are successful.

  5. 5. Choose the right real estate agent.

    A real estate agent who keeps up with the local market fluctuations will be able to offer insight about how things like for buyers there right now. They may also be able to suggest the best time to look, if there are local trends when inventory tends to be higher. Plus, they can help you narrow your search to houses that would be a realistic possibility for you.

  6. 6. Know when you should and shouldn’t haggle.

    Everyone loves a bargain, but you don’t want to risk losing out on a great house by trying to haggle when it’s a big risk. If you are truly in love with a house, go in with your best offer first. This is especially important if there are other buyers in the mix. Don’t risk letting the house slip through your fingers if someone else submits a better offer first.

The resources and advice you will find at Trulia can help you boost your odds of victory when submitting an offer.