As an experienced College Station real estate agent, I have long been aware of the fact that psychology plays an unexpectedly large role in selling real estate. Everything – from how a homebuyer perceives his agent to how a seller prices her home – plays a huge role. When the market was on the rise, this was considered mildly interesting information; now that the market is a bit less stable, this information is much more relevant.
In fact, earlier this year Old Dominion University conducted an entire study testing the facts and limits of how psychology affects a buyer’s decision to purchase a home. The results of such research can offer useful insight to buyers, sellers, and Realtors alike. For example, one conclusion of their study was that one pink room will make a person less likely to purchase an entire home. Truly, any color out of the range of neutrals is a bad choice; but this problem is very simple (and cheap) to fix. And on the topic of home presentation, as I’ve mentioned before – staging, staging, staging! Staging is a seller’s best friend, as it puts your home in its most favorable light. In doing this, you are putting the potential buyer in a pleased, relaxed state of mind. When they are enjoying the aesthetic beauty of your home, they are much more likely to want to imagine their family and their belongings there. In fact, according to HUD statistics, a staged home will sell in about half the time and for significantly more money than a non-staged home. For in-depth tips on how to stage your College Station or Bryan home for maximum buyer influence, please read my previous posts on the subject.
Another finding from a study on the psychology of real estate gauged the effect advertising has on a listed home. Of course, if you have recently painted your home and installed a new roof and carpet, you will be eager to tout all of the fixes. But in a study that looked at 60,000 residential real estate transactions in Texas, listings that mentioned these three items sold (on average) for slightly less than those that did not. For one, advertising items like these make it seem as if a seller is slapping a fresh coat of paint on an old fixer-upper. Buyers tend to be wary of a home that advertises only surface or cosmetic enhancements, as it can cause them to wonder what defects are lurking. The best thing to do in this situation is to allow the potential buyer to be surprised by the quality of the paint and carpet in your home. When advertising, it is preferable to discuss the appliance, energy-efficient, poolhouse, or garage upgrades (etc.). These are much more likely to entice and impress a potential buyer.
And finally, one of the deepest influencing factors on the psychology of buying a home is where the homeowner thinks home prices are headed. A recent study of homeowners found that people were about five times more likely to say their own homes would see their price increase in the next year than they were to say their neighbors’ homes would do better. If you are selling your College Station home with out of whack expectations, you may end up waiting for a higher offer that will never arrive. On the other hand, an overly downbeat seller could end up selling at a huge loss. If you are interested in getting your home generally appraised by an experienced Realtor to ensure that you get the best price, please contact me at your earliest convenience.
The fact of the matter is, psychology plays a huge role in the real estate world. While it is very important that the frame of mind of the seller is in the right place, the frame of mind of the buyer should be the primary focus. If you have any questions regarding selling your home, how to stage your home, or if you would like to look into purchasing quality luxury real estate, please feel free to call me.
Clay Lee – Realtor
Century 21 Beal, Inc.
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