BUYING a home is a big decision, and you would think it would be a logical one, with buyers placing a lot of importance on price, resale value and location.
However their hearts often overrule their heads.
CoreLogic has listed several psychological factors prospective buyers consider when purchasing a new home.
Understanding what motivates a buyer can help boost a home owner’s chances of selling.
Whether someone is buying a house or an apartment to live in, they are buying a home.
It is a place where they will create memories and for some people, there is a strong sense of emotional attachment.
In 2013, Commonwealth Bank conducted a survey of Australian buyers and found 44 per cent paid more for a property because they “really liked it”.
2. Cultural superstitions
Numbers matter and it may not be the price tag.
The numbers on a home can determine whether a property is a good fit for the superstitious.
In some cultures, some numbers are considered ‘luckier’ than others; 13 is commonly associated with bad luck but in some Asian cultures, the number 4 is also considered to have negative connotations as its pronunciation sounds like “shi” which translates to death in Mandarin.
3. Perceived value
That new paint job may have only cost the seller $100 and a few hours of their time, but to a prospective buyer, a newly painted wall can be perceived as added value.
Superficial things like a room painted in an ugly colour can make people less likely to buy a house, even though fixing such a problem is as cheap as a couple cans of paint.
Psychologically, buyers are motivated by added value and getting the most they can from their seller.
Sellers can appeal to this psychological need to “win” by demonstrating as great a value as possible, relative to price.
This could even include offering a gift voucher or covering a gas/electricity bill for the first month.
4. First impressions
Like all introductions, first impressions count.
A buyer’s first experience with a home will either leave a lasting impression or not.
Research that studied 63 unstaged homes found the average selling time of a home decreased to 40 days after going through a ‘facelift’.
Create a good first impression by appealing to the senses; have fresh flowers arranged in nice vases, light some scented candles to create a welcoming experience for visitors.
5. A home that tells a story
Story telling is a powerful medium in sales and marketing.
While the logical side of a buyer’s brain is apt to examine numbers, technical specs, history, potential resale value etc., their psychological side responds to romanticised stories of a home’s previous owner.
Stories from past owners can help prospective buyers relate and form an emotional attachment to a home.
Not all stories will resonate with buyers and the chances are a home is likely to have more than one story.
Get to know the home’s history, collect a few stories for reference so you can cater your story to the audience.
6. The ideal lifestyle
It is not just about the home.
When home buyers are considering a purchase, they are buying into a lifestyle.
For example, if someone is interested in properties on the coast, they are likely to be looking for an active lifestyle with good cafes.
When it comes to selling a lifestyle, home owners need to understand their suburb beyond the technical specifications of the home.
For example, get to know the history of the suburb, its local restaurants and schools.
Is there an award-winning bakery around the corner?
Is the house close to some of the best walks or parks in Perth?
All these little things matter when people are buying into a lifestyle.