Move Quickly But Stay Calm - "There'll Always Be Another Good Deal"

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Saturday, 24 January 2015

Move Quickly But Stay Calm - "There'll Always Be Another Good Deal"

One drawback, we experienced, of focusing primarily on getting a good deal on our first motorhome in addition to using how quickly other motorhomes were selling as a factor in assessing what was and was not a good deal is that it initially made us feel very stressed. At times we both felt a very real sense of panic at potentially missing the deal which was right for us. Given that motorhomes priced the most competitively are often snapped up the very same day the advert appears we found it very easy, at first, to get flustered when one appeared that really grabbed our attention, which definitely happened to us on several occasions. However, over time, we learned the importance of balancing the need to make a quick decision with the reality that even if we did miss a motorhome that might have suited us well, that there was always going to be another good deal that suited us for sale very soon.
Why getting a good deal on our first motorhome was so important to us

The first few times that we 'dithered' in making a decision and 'missed out' we were very upset. Sometimes we would see something online, spend time thinking about it and then phone up to arrange a viewing to be told it was already sold. Other times we arranged a viewing for as soon as we could manage but then got a call later on to say that another buyer had come along and paid the asking price, so it was gone.  When this started to happen we were understandably disappointed and upset, feeling scared that we'd missed out on the best deal we were likely to see for some time. If only, we thought, we'd been willing or able to jump in the car that moment and drive straight there. Unlike some buyers we weren't brave enough / willing to put down a deposit over the phone without seeing a motorhome first.

On one occasion in particular we actually went to a viewing which was a 6 hour round trip in the car on a Friday afternoon. We really liked the motorhome on offer, but asked if we could have the weekend to think about it which the seller agreed to. When we phoned on Monday to make an offer at the price he had told us he wanted on Friday. he then said he'd had so much interest over the weekend he would no longer would accept that price. We were gutted and began to wonder if we'd ever find a motorhome we liked at a price we thought was fair.

Our viewing experiences and checklist

Many sellers, but dealerships in particular, try and play on that sense of panic, telling you how many other calls they've had already in an effort to get you to make your mind up and buy right there and then. But we found that, even though it was hard, that if we had any doubts it was better to walk away and sleep on it. Sure, if it really was a great deal there was a good chance someone else would buy it first and this happened several times, but that was all part of our learning process. On other occasions, despite dealers telling us they were holding it especially for us, we walked away and it was still on the market a fortnight later indicating it wasn't such a great deal after all. The experience of a dealer "holding it especially for us" actually could result in increased pressure as they tried to make us feel guilty when they did walk away implying they'd already lost other sales which was somehow our fault.

The reality, we came to discover, is that even though the market for motorhomes is relatively small compared to the market for cars and vans, there are still hundreds of thousands of them in the UK alone and there is always someone looking to sell theirs quickly at a good price. Even though it was still upsetting every time we felt we had 'missed out' we started to take great comfort in the fact that there would always be another one we liked coming along very soon and we were always proved right.

The difficulties of working out the fair market value of a used motorhome

In the end we did find the right motorhome at the right price when a whole range of factors came together. In addition was patient and understanding that it was a lot of money for us. Even though we agreed the price on the day of the viewing they were willing to wait for the final sale while we had some independent checks done. The sellers were so confident they even promised to repair anything the checks uncovered. We have been so happy in Homer ever since that, looking back today, we are now grateful for all those other times we 'missed out' after all.

On the road with 'Homer' - Now taking it a bit more slowly!

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