The housing market is going well in a lot of areas because supply is low and demand is high. This means there’s a lot of people putting in offers on too few properties. With many listings, multiple offers to buy the home are submitted. In the end, only one offer wins. All the others lose.
We recently talked with a couple at an Open House. They had tried desperately for several months to find a home. They were competing with lots of other families, attempting to buy a home (in a highly competitive price point) in a very popular community.
After experiencing a half-dozen rejected offers, despite their smiles and engaging personality, their eyes gave it away: they were tired, discouraged, and losing hope that they will find a home.
Living the “find-a-home-make-an-offer-lose-the-house” cycle week-in and week-out can take a real toll on a person … emotionally, mentally, and relationally. All to repeat the cycle again and again. It’s easy to feel like a loser … a multiple offer loser.
Here’s 10 pieces of advice for anyone who feels like a multiple offer loser.
#1) Don’t take it personally – The seller does not know you. They are not rejecting you. There’s another offer to buy their property that makes more sense for them. It may be a higher offer price, less contingencies, or a stronger financing arrangement than what you’re able or willing to offer. Regardless, it’s not you.
#2) View this as the short chapter in your life that it is – This too shall pass. You will find a home. You will live in that home. You will make memories in that home. And you will tell stories about how you found the home. And when you do, you’ll realize that the months of disappointment were worth the many years of enjoyment in your home.
#3) It’s just a house – It is natural to crush on a house: visualizing your furniture and things in the house; fantasizing about home improvements you’ll make; imagining the kids and pets enjoying the yard. But until it’s yours, it’s just an object of your affection. By not going “all-in” emotionally with a home, it hurts less if the offer isn’t accepted. Sometimes.
#4) Protect your relationships at all costs – A house is a home because of the people who live in it. And what makes it fun, loving, and life-giving is the quality of the relationships with your partner and kids. Avoid allowing the stress of finding and buying a home wreak havoc on the relationships of all those who will live in the home. In everything, relationships matter most.
#5) Go all-in – One strategy for multiple offer situations is to pre-pay on your future equity. This is only for those who can afford to pay out of pocket the difference between the offer price and the appraisal level. It may take a year or two of equity to build up in the home to make up the difference…but you might just get the home.
#6) Lower your expectations – If homes are regularly selling for above asking price, and you are losing out to multiple offers, set your sights on homes at a lower list price. This will substantially increase your chances of becoming a multiple offer winner.
#7) Change your parameters – You may have to consider a different neighborhood, community, or school district. You’d be surprised what size of home, quality or home, or property size your money can buy in a neighboring town. Sometimes you have to count your losses to find a new ideal for you and your family.
#8) Don’t give up – While you may be emotionally spent after losing out on a number of houses, don’t let too much time go by to buy a home. Even a short pause of 2-4 months in the home search can put you financially further behind. Because home values tend to increase each month, year-over-year, taking too long of a break can set you back quite a bit (between lost future equity, higher interest rates, and your buying power decreasing as home valuations increase).
#9) Talk with your real estate agent – Your agent is there to help you. If you’re feeling emotionally beat up by the process, discuss how you’re feeling and come up with a refreshed or different strategy (possibly #5, #6, or #7 above) so you can find the right home for you and your family.
#10) Make a change, if necessary – You might need to make a more extreme change, by finding a new agent. Before you do, share your needs with your current agent and listen to how they respond. This is not a step to be taken lightly, nor should it be done haphazardly. Keep in mind that there are rules surrounding ending a contractual relationship with an agent. But in some cases, you may have an agent that is not as experienced or not able to represent clients well in multiple offer situations. If you make a change, we can find an experienced agent for you.
The feelings of being a multiple offer loser are temporary. Discuss with your partner what you want to do differently, what strategies need to change, and how to proceed with a new attitude and new plan so that your family can be the one holding a SOLD sign on the porch of your new home with big smiles on your faces.
1) Find an activity like walking, yoga, or reading that allows for you to take a physical, mental, and emotional break each day from the stresses surrounding finding a home.
2) Plan to take a week-long break to relax, refresh and refocus your home-buying efforts with a new level of energy, positivity, and focus.
3) Ask your agent the reason(s) that you have lost out on previous offers. They should have intel from the listing agent that can help you put a better game plan together with future offers.
4) Talk with your partner and family to better understand what is most important with this new home. It may result in some much-needed changes to your home-buying strategy.
5) Consult your agent and lender about the “Go all-in” tactic and see if it’s appropriate and/or possible for you to employ it with future offers.
About the Authors:
Jason and Kelli Krafsky are relationship experts turned Realtors, combining their relationship insights and real estate advice into articles and resources for home buyers, home sellers, and home owners at YourHomeLyfe.com!
Called “Your Family’s Go-to Real Estate Team,” Jason and Kelli serve clients throughout the Puget Sound region of Washington state with John L. Scott, Inc. – Bellevue Main office. They are also members of the National Association of REALTORS and Seattle-King County REALTORS. The Krafskys have been married since 1994 and have four kids.
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