15 Jul 2016

How to avoid buying a rebound

Have you ever met someone who married on the rebound? It’s a messy situation and once they realise what’s happened their choice is either to make the best of it or get out. The same thing can happen with house hunters after they miss out on a home they really wanted. It’s a surprisingly common mistake and one that costs a lot of money to fix.

When you are suffering the disappointment of missing out on your dream home (as so often happens in inner Sydney), you are at your most vulnerable.

It is at this time – when you’re in buying mode, when your finances are ready, when you are at your most motivated to move, and your fear of missing out is at its zenith – that you are most open to the lure of an available, often inadequate, piece of real estate.

Selling agents see you coming. They can smell the desperation, the panic, and disappointment and rub their hands together in glee! You are not thinking clearly, you have momentarily forgotten your property checklist, you just want this nightmare to be over. And they see a chance to shift some stock that has been taking a while to sell… No other buyer will be so blind to the shortcomings of this particular property.

 So often we seek to immediately dull the pain of a loss. But if you try to do so by leaping into a desperate purchase you may just find that the long-term grief is so much harder to bear. You don’t want the pain to wear off only to realise that you have committed to buying a property that is less than ideal. There is too much at stake to use emotion as your only decision making tool.

And what many buyers don’t realise, is that if you have decided to sell before you buy, you are also susceptible to the same pressure immediately after selling. This is usually because we resist the idea of renting – who wouldn’t want to avoid a double move, after all?

Beware: this is the time you need to be more critical than ever!

Try the helicopter approach and look at the big picture. Remember why you wanted to move in the first place and revise your property requirements. Organise your checklist so that your “must haves” are at the top of the list. Agree on what you are prepared to compromise on before you inspect the next property. Now be honest with yourself: are you buying out of fear or because this is the right property for you?