Recently there has been rash of people who handle loss less than gracefully (think Donald Trump and Cam Newton), and while they end up splashed across the media as toddlers throwing temper tantrums, do you think you would be a sore loser if you found your dream home only to lose it to a better offer?
I am grateful I ended up where I did, but it was a long bumpy road before I found a place to call home. I looked at houses for what felt like an eternity and walked through tons different doors – fixer uppers, new construction, renovated, and dilapidated. Some were immediately out of the running, but I fell a little bit in love with several only to have them snapped out from under me. Those times were upsetting and discouraging and I wanted to give up and move into the first place I saw, but eventually it all worked out, and I learned some invaluable lessons about navigating the process of buying a house and handling loss with grace:
1. Don’t Settle (otherwise known as, Patience is a Virtue): If you lose the house you want, that doesn’t mean there isn’t another out there for you. Sure after a long, frustrating search, you start to feel desperate and willing to settle on just about anything, but if you do you will probably regret it! This is where my agent was a huge help to me, because she really understood from the start what I was looking for, and helped talk me off the edge when I was willing to concede just about everything to be done with the process.
2. Act Fast: If you love a place, don’t hesitate because it probably won’t wait for you! I had a bad case of new buyer jitters and was so terrified about making the wrong choice I hesitated myself to at least two losses. Some of that I think is necessary as a first time buyer, because helps you realize what you need versus what you want. For me, that meant my ideal location, laundry inside the apartment, and my own bathroom. I lucked out and didn’t have to make any concessions, but the whole process helped me see what was really important to me and what I was willing to do without.
3. Get Creative: The house you want is out there, you just have to find it. I ended up finding a place that was still under construction, so I got to pick everything from the hardwood to the paint colors and it wasn’t even on the market yet so I didn’t have to compete with 15 offers. It was everything I ever wanted and I didn’t even have to vocalize it. This is what makes my last tip so crucial…
4. Find a Good Agent: I am not sure where I would be without my agent, but it certainly wouldn’t be in my dream home. She was a rockstar and calmly reassured me every step of the way. She broke through my hesitations, clarified what I really wanted, eased me through the losses, negotiated fiercely, and generally just guided me through the confusion of buying my first house. Next time I will have a better idea of what to expect, but I still would never do it without an agent by my side!