Is it ever possible to really have complete clarity and foresight? None of us has a crystal ball. What may first appear to be a disaster can become one of the most fortunate happy mistakes of your career.

As real estate investors, we aim to solve problems daily. We try to use common sense to make sure we perform proper due diligence before making any serious investments. Sometimes we feel confident in our decisions, and other times we feel pressured into making quick choices in an instant. Especially while you are still learning, this unconfident decision-making process is often called learning by trial and error.

Below are 3 investment stories when failing was a real estate success.

3 Times in My Real Estate Career When Failing Was a Success

1. Undercut by Doing the Right Thing

I arrived to the seller’s mobile home right on time for our appointment. This was a 3-bedroom mobile home from the late 1980s inside a mobile home park where I owned a few investment mobile homes already. It was a Sunday, and the seller was getting everything packed into a moving truck so she could be gone by the end of the day. In fact, the seller mentioned a handful of times that she needed to be out of the home by that day and that they needed to have it sold before the end of the weekend.

It is not uncommon for sellers to have unrealistic timeframes when selling their properties. This seller seemed very stressed, and she was definitely trying to project this time-crunch on to me and my investing business as well. Over the course of 20 minutes, we talked about her situation, where she were planning to move to, the future, and, of course, the subject property. Upon taking a tour of the mobile home, I was forbidden to go into the back two bedrooms. The seller said I wouldn’t be able to go into these rooms that day, as there were still a lot of items that had to be packed and removed from the bedrooms.


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Pro Tip: Always try to convince the seller to allow you to walk through every room in the property. Even if there is junk and a mess, you have a good imagination and are only looking to inspect the structural integrity of the rooms. Do not buy a property without thoroughly inspecting every square foot.

Since the seller apparently couldn’t wait another day, she was asking a very attractive price for her mobile home. The seller also mentioned she had another serious buyer coming to look at the property later in the day if I was not interested. Naturally, I considered this “other investor” a bluff and that the home would still be for sale on Monday.

It was a Sunday, so the park manager’s office was not open, and therefore I could not verify if this resident was current on lot rent or if the park had any issue with me buying this property. I couldn’t call the state to verify ownership/taxes, and I was also not able to walk through the back two bedrooms to inspect for repairs. While the asking price was under $1,000 to purchase this 3-bedroom mobile home, I told the seller that I would be very happy to purchase this property the next day, Monday. Still I would first need to speak with the manager and walk through the last two bedrooms before we would be able to purchase the home.

I waited till the next day and called the seller again. She informed me that she’d already sold the title to the buyer who came after me on Sunday. At this point, I was mentally kicking myself. I was thinking, “How could I be so stupid to…