It’s human nature to seek out the next best thing. Often we hear stories of people like Thomas Edison, who tried and tried, never gave up, and finally gave us the light bulb. This narrative is so ingrained in our consciousness that we often wait too long for the right opportunity and end up missing out. As Captain Jack Sparrow says in The Pirates of the Caribbean, “If you were waiting for the opportune moment…that was it.”
When sellers come into my office, a common problem I face is their insistence on waiting for a bigger offer. They are convinced their home is a castle and if they just stick it out long enough someone with deep pockets will come along and pay them the “right” amount. This is especially true when a home owner may be underwater or facing significant debts or expenses. The lure to wait for even a penny more becomes that much stronger.
What Investors like you need to know, so you don’t get into a similar situation, is that waiting for that extra penny often ends up costing you 1000s of dollars. While you’re waiting you’ll still need to pay your mortgage. And the light bill. And the water bill. And the gardener. And what if an expense over which you have no control—and no contract—like a water main break comes up? How are you going to deal with it then?
Do you remember the saying “Penny Wise and Pound Foolish”? Don’t wait for a penny which may never come while incurring mega bills which will.
The best way to avoid this is to make sure you have a Board of Directors, trusted advisors who will tell you the truth about the situation you’re in without making you feel like a worm or a loser (not constructive!). This will include your Realtor, CPA or Tax Attorney, and trusted allies. It is also important that you and your spouse be honest with yourself about your current situation. Are we really ready to turn away a great offer with controllable contingencies—one that would get us out of a problem property—for a pipe dream which may never come true?
However, if you accept an otherwise decent offer, you open all of your doors of opportunity to reboot, restart, reorganize, rebuild, and refresh. And isn’t that what your heart is looking for? More than a couple of bucks that don’t exist?