Usually when a buyer misses out on a house, it's gone forever. Last year, though, my client got an unexpected second chance.
My investor client went under contract to buy a cute little house at full list price, $95K. However, it was a short sale, which means anything can happen. After several weeks, the bank came back and said no to $95K but it would agree to $100K.
Although I argued that $100K was still a good price, my client declined to pay more and the contract was terminated. The house was soon sold to another buyer for $100K, while my client and I continued our search for a property to buy. We looked for almost three months; nothing suited him. One day he admitted, "I should have paid $100K for that short sale."
As luck would have it, I got a call just a few days later from the long-suffering listing agent on that house. The second buyer's financing had not worked out. Was my client still interested? He was.
This time my client happily agreed to pay $100K for the house, and we closed.
This story has a happy ending, but it's rare to get another chance to buy a property that has gone under contract to someone else. My client was lucky, but you can't count on luck in real estate. Hopefully he learned a lesson: Focus on value, rather than price.