It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that selling your house is as simple as putting a for-sale sign in the front yard, posting a listing online, and asking your agent to field offers. But even in a white-hot market like the one we’ve been in for a few years, there’s a whole lot more to selling your house.
At the end of the day, it comes down to understanding the psychology of your customer – i.e. home buyers in your area. Because until you understand what makes them tick, you’re going to struggle to sell your home as quickly as you’d like (for as much as you’d like).
In this article, we’re going to explore some of the ways buyers think so that you can get better results.
The Mindset of Home buyers
Buyers typically approach the process of buying a house with a healthy mix of excitement, apprehension, and clear expectations.
You’ll find that most buyers have specific motivations that are driving them to buy a house. For some, it’s the desire to expand the size of their home in order to satisfy the growing demands of a growing family. For others, it’s all about downsizing after kids move out of the house. Then there are some folks who want to make money from the property, using it as a short-term or long-term rental property.
There’s also a healthy amount of fear and concern for some. Buyers are naturally hesitant and will have their guards up when it comes to things like maintenance issues, crime rates, overpaying, the cost of insurance, commute times to work, etc.
In addition to fear, there are expectations. Buyers have certain expectations as it relates to cleanliness, move-in condition, pricing, and more.
Now, the tricky part is that no two buyers are the same. However, you can sort of back your way into the mindset of a typical buyer for your property by understanding the market. If you’re selling a $350,000 fixer-upper in an area full of $750,000 homes, your buyer’s mindset can be categorized in one way. If you’re selling a $1 million home that needs no work in an area where most homes are selling for more, that’s a totally different mindset. Get clear on where you fall on the spectrum of interested buyers.
First Impressions Matter
The first impression a buyer gets of your home can significantly influence their perception and decision-making process. This is where the concept of curb appeal comes into play. Curb appeal, which is basically a measure of how attractive your property looks from the street, is often the first thing buyers notice when they see your home in person or in listing photos.
You can enhance your property’s curb appeal and win over the all-important first impression by paying attention to things like:
- Maintenance: Are there any obvious exterior maintenance projects that need to be done? Fixing bad siding panels, removing leaves from gutters, and painting peeling trim are all easy fixes that don’t cost much, but will prevent a bad first impression from taking root.
- Front door: Speaking of projects, what about your front door? Painting your front door, or even replacing it, is an excellent way to give your home a more inviting appeal right from the start.
- Landscaping: A well-maintained yard can make a huge difference. Ensure your lawn is mowed, bushes are trimmed, and flower beds are weeded. If you have a small yard or live in an apartment, consider adding potted plants or window boxes to add a touch of greenery.
Leverage Emotional Triggers
On the surface, buying a home is a financial decision that people make. But if you dig beneath the surface, you’ll realize that it’s actually an emotional one. Most home buyers make their final decisions based on emotional components. If they can picture themselves enjoying the house, they’re much more likely to buy it than if it’s just a sound financial investment.
You can tap into this reality by leveraging emotional triggers. For example:
- Every home has a story – try telling that story in the listing.
- When people walk into the house, it needs a welcoming atmosphere.
- Stage the home with luxury furniture that makes people feel like they’re in the right place.
- Highlight all of the lifestyle benefits of the neighborhood and location.
- Appeal to the aspirational side of buyers – e.g. a spacious home office for people working from home, or a fully-upgraded kitchen for those who like to cook.
You can’t sell a house on numbers alone. (Well, you might be able to – but you won’t get maximum value.) In order to attract the most interested buyers and the highest possible offers, prioritize emotional triggers such as these.
Be Strategic With Pricing
The first step in setting a price is to determine the fair market value of your home. This is typically done through a comparative market analysis, which looks at the prices of similar homes in your area that have recently sold. Pricing your home too high can deter potential buyers, while pricing it too low may lead to a quicker sale but potentially less profit.
Studies have shown that certain price points can be more attractive to buyers. For example, a home listed at $299,000 may seem significantly cheaper to a buyer than one listed at $300,000, even though the difference is only $1,000. This is because buyers tend to focus on the first number they see.
There’s also research to suggest that prices ending in seven are seen as more favorable. For example $997,000 is seen as significantly less expensive than $999,000. The same goes for $390,700 versus $391,000.
Some sellers choose to price their homes slightly higher to leave room for negotiation. However, this strategy can backfire if the price is too high. In these situations, it may deter a percentage of potential buyers from even making an offer. Be careful to strike a balance that gives you some negotiating room but still attracts the maximum number of buyers.
Sell Your Home With Green Residential
At Green Residential, we operate on a flat-fee rate. This could save you thousands of dollars on the sale of your home, compared to most commission-based agents in the area. Want to learn more? We’d be happy to chat!