Panic attacks are impacting my deals

47 Replies

I’ve been doing my research and reading and running numbers but I’m having an issue. I’ll submit offers on places which I think are good deals but within a day I start getting panic attacks and it ends up with me backing out. I’m a bit nervous to begin with but I’ve forced myself through seriously tough situations before and come out ahead. Homelessness, army, biochem major, Med school. Has anyone else dealt with this type of thing? How did you deal with it?
that feeling of panic mixed with nausea gets less and less with each deal you close.

Bring in a partner on your first one. Even if you have to provide everything and still split the profit with them it may be worth it to have someone there to reassure you that you’re making the right decision. If you have someone you can trust they can “talk you off the ledge” when you start to panic and back out of the deal.

Either that or write a GIANT check for your earnest money deposit so you have no choice but to close, lol.

I would consider Paul's second option. Put down a huge earnest deposit to lock you in. If that is not enough and you still bail that is a sign you are not cut out for high risk investing. You should be looking to one of many other possible options for investment that are in your comfort zone.

I still get a little nervous each time. I think that's healthy. KInd of like the mountain climber that still feels it. The second you have zero healthy fear or nervousness is when bad things can happen. Just keep it in check. I read the 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. She says to turn that fear into excitement. It works. 

You say you have read, have done the research and been running the numbers. Well if your thorough analysis says it's a deal you may have to just trust your gut and take the leap. I feel a lot of this business is about gut feel at some point. Data is great but you can get analysis paralysis. 

May I suggest, making the next few deals what I call "no calculator" deals. One of my mentors told me about this technique. Now it takes a lot of time to sort through all the mediocre deals until you stubble across a gem. It's so good, you don't even need to crunch numbers. You don't need a calculator. In 5 seconds you know it's a deal. These build confidence and allow for some error too. Knowing this puts your mind at ease when it's time to follow through. Because you bought right, it opens a whole bunch of new exit strategies which takes some pressure off of the deal. Good luck! Although luck has nothing to do with it.....

@James Canoy So I just finished reading Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight the founder of Nike, yesterday and heard a point that came to mind when reading your post. Knight quoted Cus D'amato (famed trainer of boxing greats like Mike Tyson):

"The hero and the coward both feel the same thing. It's what they do [in that moment] that makes them different."

What you're feeling is normal. On the first deal, everyone gets nervous ... it's a big moment. When nerves start to kick in, you have to think back at why you got into the deal and keep that at the forefront and leave emotion at the door. If it's your first deal, it doesn't have to be a homerun. It should be a building block and a stepping stone to learn from.

All that being said, if on your next deal you want an extra set of eyes, ping me and I'll glance over it with you.

Suck it up! Not sure what else to say. You get nervous? Ok, thats life, but c'mon now, you are a grown man. If you want to get through then get through it. Nothing any of us say will change anything, only you can do that.

Originally posted by @Mark Fries :
that feeling of panic mixed with nausea gets less and less with each deal you close.

 That’s a relief

Originally posted by @Paul Bowers :

Bring in a partner on your first one. Even if you have to provide everything and still split the profit with them it may be worth it to have someone there to reassure you that you’re making the right decision. If you have someone you can trust they can “talk you off the ledge” when you start to panic and back out of the deal.

Either that or write a GIANT check for your earnest money deposit so you have no choice but to close, lol.

 I think you are most right. The partner thing. Mentor type people are sparse in my area but I do have a contractor friend who has done a couple of flips when he was younger. Part of the issue is my insecurity with the rehab estimates and holding costs. 

My suggestion would be to start with much lower priced properties.  If you can afford to bid on something 200K seriously look at stuff around 100K for example.  Get a cheap one going first then you can get your confidence up once you do a successful "cheap" deal.

Originally posted by @Derek E. :

Suck it up! Not sure what else to say. You get nervous? Ok, thats life, but c'mon now, you are a grown man. If you want to get through then get through it. Nothing any of us say will change anything, only you can do that.

You’re right. This is nothing but a feeling I’ve dealt with before and I have to deal with every time something changes.

Remember this: FEAR - False evidence appearing real.

@James Canoy ,

Tell your agent that after he submits the offer he is not to respond to your calls texts or emails until both attorney approvals are in. Then he is only allowed to tell you it is complete. Next he is to schedule the home inspection and not respond to you until the results are in. Once that area is agreed upon he is to go radio silent until commitment is in and once that's complete he is to only respond after 3 days have passed.

Of course some agents will just do it on their own that way without you asking  :) 

Mike Cumbie, Real Estate Agent in NY (#10401285310)

Being nervous is ok.  It just means that you are going out of your comfort zone.  As long as the actual numbers look right (not proforma), then take action.  Not every deal is going to make you wealthy overnight.  It starts with the first property and it can help propel you into future deals.  I get anxious with every new deal and flip.  Good luck in whatever you decide!

@James Canoy what if you ran your deal past BP?  Might a quality crowd-sourced approval help to calm those nerves?

@James Canoy Wow, I'm really inspired by your story and what achieved considering what you've gone through in my life. 

Now, the idea is for you to try to leverage the same success levers that helped you through your past situations and tell yourself a different story when you submit these offers, which is that you have done the research, read a ton of real estate content, and ran your numbers. Therefore, your offer is fair and when you do get the property you WILL achieve your intended goals. 

The trick is to use these activities (research, reading (knowledge), and analysis) to counteract the inner negative voice telling you otherwise. 

Another tactical thing I encourage you to do is something called a Letter of Intent, which isn't contractual or legally binding in any way, so this approach can also help calm your mind. 

In conclusion, most offers have a 50/50 chance of being accepted anyway, so no need to back out before hearing back from Sellers :). 

Hope this helps. Good luck. Thanks! - Ola 

Originally posted by @Susan K. :

My suggestion would be to start with much lower priced properties.  If you can afford to bid on something 200K seriously look at stuff around 100K for example.  Get a cheap one going first then you can get your confidence up once you do a successful "cheap" deal.

 I’ve thought about that. I need to hit up my agent for holding time prior to selling. Thanks

@James Canoy - find 3 or more people in a local REIA you trust and have experience. Ask them and BP whether numbers on a deal you have under contract look good. Have them answer your calls after you’ve bought it. The only thing to make you less nervous is to just go do it.

I’m almost done my first flip in 3 weeks. I bought something that needed cosmetic repairs and soon I’ll list it for a lot more than it cost.

@James Canoy , if that helps, everyone gets nervous after getting an offer accepted, and I will say everyone had different levels of being uncomfortable and work through it.  It's part of being a human being. If I were you, I will write a letter to myself before I write an offer on why I believe the deal is great and then keep reading it until you close! You will trust yourself the most, or ask someone you really trust to have a conversation with you and to refer to it after you got an offer accepted and keep you afloat!

You'll push through it - I am sure of it! Focus on the outcome only! Good luck!

Lumi Ispas, Real Estate Agent in IL (#475.113981)
773-392-2906

@James Canoy

I think there might be more to the story.  I assume this is your first purchase. If you've done your homework, and used the calculators on BP, and know the numbers, then it doesn't matter what our 'darker selves' thinks...those doubts we have.  But also consider, your fearful reaction could be good.  So, if it is okay, will you provide more details about your deal, and your situation?  My son in law just finished his residency, is an MD, and they aren't exactly rolling in dough because the student loans are huge.  What is your situation?  What is your debt level like?  

For me I still get nervous, but I have faith in my numbers. Study the numbers and how they interact with each other.... then stress test your investment however you see fit. Once you get a solid understanding of how they interact with them your confidence should go up. Then when your attacks start, sit down, pull up your models, run through every scenario and see that your offer makes sense no matter what. If you're going to acknowledge the what ifs, accept that you've accounted for them.

Train your brain to trust your mind.

@James Canoy  Do you know what feels worse  . its when you back out of a deal , and then you watch someone else buy it , fix it up and sell it . Then you wonder what they sold it for , you check and you find out they made a gross profit of $95,000 . 

As someone who’s struggled with anxiety at various times in my life, I can understand how this can happen. When I was buying my first deal, out of state I often wondered if I was making the right call.

The fact that it took 4 months to close just made it worse sometimes. I made myself push through, so I know you can do it too. Numbers don’t lie. If it’s a good deal buy it.

I get anxiety bad in certain circumstances since the army, and it's getting worse. I feel your pain.

Luckily nothing I do in real estate escalates that effect on me, I can only imagine that struggle.

That said, it's up to all of us to devise methods of alternative solutions. What sounds like would help you is a 3rd party information filter. Meaning, someone to give you some objective output. You need to trust this person, and they don't really need to know real estate, they just need to filter some information through you so you don't' have to take on the emotional burden of analysis.

It's normal to feel heightened anxiety on the first deal. You need to get this first one knocked out and done and you'll feel much better about it.

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