contact us

The 5 stages of rejection (and how to make your next offer even better)

July 22, 2019

Buying a new home is an exciting time for a lot of people. It’s thrilling to play the detective and investigate potential properties online or in the paper. It can be emotional and dramatic when you’re hitting open homes on the weekend, scoping out the competition and comparing one property against another. Then there’s a rush of adrenaline when you find a home you love and make an offer.

When everything goes according to your plan, it can feel exhilarating. On the other hand, it can be pretty upsetting if your offer is rejected or someone bids higher than you and another buyer moves into what should have been your home. You might even find yourself experiencing what is known as the five stages of rejection.


You can’t believe your offer wasn’t accepted. They wouldn’t reject you. Don’t they know who you are? Obviously there has been some mistake. The real estate agent probably meant to call some other potential buyer and let them know their offer wasn’t acceptable, because yours really was compelling.


Once you realise there wasn’t a mistake, you might start to blame the agent. You look at them the same way you look at the fruit and veg guy at the supermarket when he tells you they’ve run out of watermelons. You ask him if they have any more watermelons out the back and he says no, but you know that he knows that you know he is lying. He’s obviously hoarding watermelons out the back, but for some reason he just doesn’t want you to have one. Why didn’t the agent come back to you before the other offer was accepted? Surely they owed you that. Even though you know the agent acts for the seller and needs to follow their instructions, they can seem to be the gatekeeper between you and what you want.


Okay… so the agent doesn’t hate you. They’re just doing their job. But maybe you can change their mind. “How about I take you out for a coffee or a nice meal?” you ask, “Let’s work out what we can do to make this happen.” This can often stem from the belief that if a “better” offer than yours has been made it can’t have been totally rational and there must be a logical way for common sense to prevail.


Eventually you may realise the agent is a professional, and their integrity can’t be bought with cupcakes or coffee. Sadly, you resign yourself to the fact you’ve missed out on the property, and you might even begin to question if you’ll ever find a new home. You wonder what you will do if you can’t find a home. Maybe you’ll have to buy a van, start wearing an ascot and travel around the country solving mysteries with your dog? Or maybe you’ll just have to stay in your current home forever?


Finally, you realise it’s not that bad. Of course you’re going to find a home. You just need to keep looking. If you hang in there you’ll find a place that is even better than the one you missed out on. Come to think of it, maybe that property wasn’t really right for you anyway. It’s probably a good thing your offer wasn’t accepted. The Feng Shui was slightly off and you didn’t love the wallpaper. You’re ready to get back out there and continue the hunt.

Moving Forward

Once you’ve reached this stage, you can take a step back and take an objective look at the reasons why your offer wasn’t accepted. Maybe another buyer offered more and you weren’t prepared to match the amount? Maybe the seller wanted a quick settlement, but you needed some time to get your finances in order?

These 4 tips will help to ensure your next offer is as attractive as possible. If you’d like professional advice and guidance on finding a home and making an offer, contact your local Independent office.