Finding that dream home listing that you know is “The One” can be like falling in love for the first time. You can see yourself raising a family there, growing old, and building the life that you’ve always dreamed of, which is why it hurts so much when, for whatever reason, the deal falls through. Maybe the sellers went with a different offer or got cold feet at the last minute. Perhaps you even a signed contract, only for negotiations to collapse soon after. Either way, you’re back to square one and now have to start looking through listings again.
These things happen in real estate. In fact, it’s not unusual for a buyer to go through multiple offers before finally closing on a home. When you’ve become especially attached to a particular listing, only to see it evaporate before your eyes, moving on from it can be not easy. Despite what friends and family might tell you, feelings of grief over a lost real estate deal aren’t to be shrugged off too casually. Recognize the symptoms and learn to get past them in your own time. We’ve collected some insights on how you can get over that listing you were sure would be yours to help you in this.
Let all your feelings out.Let all your feelings out.
For all the talk about finances and number crunching, homebuying is an intensely personal experience at its heart. You’re looking for a home to spend your foreseeable future in and build a life around. So it’s completely understandable if you feel a mix of emotions after knowing the deal won’t happen. Friends and family will try to tell you, “it’s just a house,” but that doesn’t detract from what you’re feeling.
Don’t try to hold those feelings in. Instead, let them out and vent however you see fit. Scream, curse, take it out on a punching bag, or curl up on the sofa with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s and cry while watching an episode of House Hunters. Just give those feelings some outlet because you’ll have a tough time moving forward if you don’t.
Take a break for a few days.Take a break for a few days.
Having come so close, it can be tempting to jump right back in and start scouring listing sites again. Don’t. If the ordeal has really driven you to the edge, then take a step back and go on a much-needed weekend break. Home hunting can be a tiring experience. Since starting your search, you probably haven’t left the city for fear of missing out on a great listing. Now’s the time to take that short holiday that you’ve been putting off for so long. Rent a car and head out to the Catskills, Rhode Island, or whatever it is that floats your boat.
Your buyer’s agent can keep an eye on things while you’re away and have a new list of homes ready for when you get back. Try not to call them while you’re away or think about anything to do with home buying. Your mind will be much clearer after a few days of relaxation and mojitos.
Stay away from any reminders.Stay away from any reminders.
Do you find yourself driving by that lost listing to see any moving vans parked outside? Maybe you can’t stop looking at photos of it or checking the listing site to see if it’s been marked “In Contract” yet. Don’t torture yourself like this. It achieves nothing other than to drive the knife a little deeper into your heart. Delete the photos, remove the listing from your favorites list, and stay away from the street where the home was located. You don’t need reminders like that of the life that could have been.
Reach out to peopleReach out to people
When you’ve gotten really attached to a listing and the lifestyle that would have come with it, your current home and lifestyle can seem even more subpar than it did before. This can be downright depressing and lead to even more anger and frustration. Try to distance yourself from it and accept that (gasp!) it was just a house. Look for ways to change your current living space and reach out to people you haven’t talked to in a while. A good friend can bring that cathartic release you’ve been looking for and help you look past the whole ordeal. Call them over for drinks, set up a dinner date, or head out to visit them if they live outside NYC.
It’s true, you’re right back where you started, but you’re also no worse than you were then, and now you have some experience. So learn to laugh about the whole thing and move past it. A bit of outside perspective from a trusted friend can be a great help with this.
Learn from the experienceLearn from the experience
As you move through all the stages of grief, you’ll eventually arrive at acceptance. As that sets in, you’ll learn to see it as a lesson and not a failure. Although it’s unlikely that you’ll ever know why your offer wasn’t accepted, you can still learn from that experience. Try to determine where you might have gone wrong and be honest with yourself. Was your offer too low? Did you ask for too many contingencies? Were you just unlucky? If the sellers were driving a hard deal and you were buying at the edge of your budget, then losing the deal might have been a blessing in disguise.
Reevaluate your finances and what you can afford. Square what you’re looking for in a home and see if you need to rethink your home search. Once you’re ready to start looking again, you’ll be more focused and confident in your decisions. Keep believing that the true “One” is still out there and waiting for you to find it. The home buying process can be an uphill battle at times, but once you’re holding the keys to your new home, you’ll know it’s all been worth it.