How to recover after losing out in a multiple offer situation.

It’s September 2016.  You are trying to buy a house in Marin County.  Inventory is low.  But so are interest rates, and your finances are right, you’re pre-approved and ready to go!  Your Realtor has told you September is a great month because there will be an uptick in inventory, so you’re getting out there.  And, yes, you’ve found a home (or two) to love!  The problem is, the houses that you are attracted to seem to be the same houses that everyone else is interested in, and your well-considered, generous offers aren’t cutting it.  You’ve been the recipient of that horrible call telling you that you didn’t get it, with the seriously annoying explanation of why.

This may have happened to you once, or it may have happened a dozen times, either way it stinks!  And it hurts and it’s a real energetic suck!  How do you cope?  What do you do next?  Should you give up?

I am here to tell you that you should absolutely not give up.  Buying real estate is a solid, wealth-building decision. But maybe you should rethink your strategy.  Remember, the people who make the most money on real estate are not the ones who pay top dollar.  Multiple offer situations are great for the sellers, but often drive buyers into paying a premium, waiving important time to perform investigations and negotiate, leading to potential surprises and possibly regret.  This is a game best played by people with deep pockets, for whom the investment is more about physical and emotional gratification than financial practicality or gain.

So, I am a Realtor.  Why am I telling you this?  Well, because my number one value is JOY!  And I want to see you happy!  So here are a couple of things to think about:

1)When the Universe gives you red lights, stop, turn-around, and run as fast as you can in the other direction.  I strongly believe that when you’re in the right place, the energy flows.  The right home purchase will come with ease.  There will be work to do, of course, but it won’t feel like having your eyes poked with a sharp stick.

2)When there are multiple offers… consider, what is the real cost to you to prevail?  For many people the higher cost is well within their reach, they have done the research, they have the means to deal with the property moving forward, be it maintenance, repairs, remodeling, taxes, Acts of God, etc.  Is this true for you?  Don’t overextend yourself in the excitement of the moment.

3)I always tell folks: “You don’t “not get” your house.”  If you didn’t get it, trust the Universe that it was not meant to be yours.  We Realtors talk about this often.  Too many times have we had broken-hearted clients find another house and muse, philosophically, “Ya know, we are really glad we didn’t get that other house.  We see now ____________________...”   You will buy your house and you will be happy.

4)Here is some top secret information:  Look at the houses other people are over-looking!!  Don’t be a sheep, be an eagle, with acute vision and sharp negotiating talons!  Your home can be a wonderful expression of YOUR creativity.  You may think you can’t do it.  You don’t have design sense, you don’t have the handy skills, you don’t like physical labor. There is nothing like a home that needs some love to bring out all kinds of talents you never knew you had.  There are a plethora of shows, books, columns and websites available to give you ideas.  Be a weekend home-improvement warrior and build equity through your love and sweat!  Two very affordable commodities!  I frequently see VERY decent homes, with excellent bones, being over-looked because they are not (yet) cute. 

5)Learn to look beyond the surface of a home.  Notice when you walk around whether the floors are solid and even.  Check the size of the rooms, the layout and the flow.  Check the light quality, whether the home is bright and cheerful, even if it’s loaded with someone else’s bad choices.  Oftentimes, just below the façade of old paint, grungy carpet, over-grown landscaping, and a lifetime of, well, crap that someone has collected, there can be a real gem.

6)Try to hook up with a Realtor that can help you with all of this.

So, in the classic sense of looking for love in all the wrong places… if the home you want, doesn’t want you, then take a deep breath, straighten your spine, and go out and BE the kind of homeowner that is confident enough to let a home that maybe hasn’t been loved for a while show you what it’s really capable of.  Trust me, you will be very happy when you see your equity growing on the foundation of your good sense!

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