5 Stages of Grief After Losing a Bid on Your Dream Home (and How to Avoid Them)

When we think of real estate, we tend to think of the positives: a place to call our own, beautiful interior design, and—if ratings are any indication—all the wildly entertaining real estate TV shows.

Whether they admit it or not, most people dream of the day when they’ll get to sign the paperwork on their dream home.

But what happens when that dream goes awry and becomes a nightmare?

Sounds scary, right?

Picture this: you’ve finally found your dream home, and it’s perfect! It has everything you’re looking for (except a light fixture that needs to be replaced, but that’s not a huge deal).

You’ve waited years for this moment. You put in a bid—a great bid—and cross your fingers and toes.

But then you get a call with the bad news…the seller went with another offer.

Devastating.

Try as you might, you’re going to go through the five stages of grief after losing a bid on your dream home. They usually look something like this:

1. Denial

“How could they have gone with another offer? Don’t they know how much we loved this house? We bid over asking! There must have been some sort of mistake. I should call and schedule the movers just in case.”

2. Anger

“Who do they think they are? Nobody rejects me, I reject them! I hope they fail the inspection. If I can’t have this house, then no one should have it.”

3. Bargaining

“Is it too late to make another offer? Just tell me how much the winning bid was and I’ll add another $5,000 on top of it. Okay, make it $10,000! How about this: what if I offer to let them come back and use the pool whenever they want…they’ll go for it, right? They like dogs, maybe they’ll take a puppy to sweeten the deal.”

4. Depression

“This is terrible. It’s the only house I’ve ever truly wanted and I’ll never find one like it again. What’s the point of working so hard if I can’t even get an offer accepted? Why do I always have to settle? I wish I’d never gone to see this house so I wouldn’t have to think about what I’ve lost.”

5. Acceptance

“You know what? Everything happens for a reason. If I was meant to buy that house, then they would have accepted the offer. Let’s keep looking. Something else will come along, and it might even be a better fit. No use crying over spilled milk.”

Avoiding The Grief (And Aggravation)…

Losing a bid on your dream home can be painful, but the good news is there are things you can do to maximize your chances of an accepted offer.

  • First, make sure that you’re pre-approved well in advance, so when that dream house comes on the market, you’ll be ready to go.
  • Then, when it comes on the market, don’t hesitate. Go see it ASAP and put in an offer as soon as you can, and make sure to include your pre approval.
  • When submitting your offer, make sure it’s strong. If you want the house, don’t play around and try to offer less than you’d be willing to pay. If they go with another offer, you’ll want to know that you gave it your best shot.
  • And lastly, try to be accomodating with your terms. If you want the perfect house, you need to be the perfect buyer.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve “lost” a house that you love. It happens! And, it’s natural to go through the stages of grief. Sometimes out of your control and just due to the market—supply and demand. Just do what you can to avoid it happening time and time again.

As always, if you’re in the market for a new home and want to minimize the chances of going through grief, please don’t hesitate to reach out!


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