Comment: Cold feet and the quest for home ownership

Finding the perfect property isn't easy. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Finding the perfect property isn't easy. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Buying and selling houses is a tricky business - I reckon we’re all agreed on that.

According to our Secret Estate Agent, around 90 per cent of accepted offers make it to exchange, which seems a pretty positive hit rate.

In my limited experience of selling houses (it’s happened twice) initial offers are often made, then quickly withdrawn. We’ve been on the receiving end of a couple of these – one chap changed his mind, another became suddenly uncontactable and was never heard from again. Bit weird, that.

Admittedly, we were once equally irritating, withdrawing an offer after quickly getting cold feet ourselves.

We’d offered in a rush after missing out on another place, and had been feeling despondent and desperate to find somewhere new.

This house was great, but having had the offer accepted doubts started to creep in, and we spent 24-hours wondering whether we really liked the area or not. We realised we didn’t; it had been an emotional decision borne out of desperation and we didn’t want to live there.


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The agent didn’t take the news well; the house had only just gone on the market, but we were the second party to have had a change of heart. It must have made for an awkward convo with the vendor.

We felt our decision to drop out was the right one, though, and were delighted when the house we’d earlier missed out on came back on the market a month later. We were especially relieved when a friend said she always associated the withdrawn offer’s road with burnt out cars.

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All up, it’s a frustrating business, but, as with all things property-related, nothing is guaranteed until completion.

Being a pessimist comes in handy at times like these, or so I’ve found – it’s certainly serving me well during our current, increasingly prolonged, purchase...

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