You’ve lost the bidding war on your dream home. Enter the five stages of grief.

By Kris Frieswick | Wall Street Journal

If you are trying to buy a house right now, you’re in the middle of a real-life Hunger Games. You finally find that perfect little house that you can’t live without, and there will be 13 other people who feel the same way.

That means you’ll be sucked into the worst possible outcome in any house-hunting scenario—a bidding war. Those other house hunters, like you, will do whatever is required and use all the weapons at their disposal to land the place. And when you lose, which you most likely will, you will watch your dreams—of backyard cookouts, of being able to get out of bed on both sides, of room to turn around in the bathroom without bumping your butt on the sink, of a kitchen in which your pots and pans don’t all have to live in the oven—evaporate. You will be gutted. You will grieve mightily, just like when [your childhood pet’s name here] got hit by a car.

The good news is that you will get over it, eventually. But first, you’ll have to go through the five stages of grief that accompany the loss of any bidding war. The stages start right after you stop swearing. Here’s what each stage looks like, plus some suggested coping mechanisms to get through them:

Stage One: Denial

You didn’t really want that stupid house. It’s a stupid house. Forget that house.

You should: Keep saying this to yourself until this stage wears off. It’s the best you’re going to feel for a while.

Stage Two: Anger

That house wasn’t stupid! It was awesome and you lost it. Why do you keep on LOSING?? Why can’t you ever WIN anything? It’s just like the high school state basketball championship that you LOST. And all those times you lost the lottery. Oh great! Now there’s a hole in the wall above the TV from you throwing your laptop in loser rage. Loo. Zer.

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