04 Oct Men vs Women – Who “wears the pants” and how are decisions made when buying a home?
Thinking of selling? Then I hope you find this an interesting read…. If nothing else it will definitely provide you with some insight and food for thought. We are going to delve into what makes people tick when buying a property and who often holds the cards in the relationship when buying a home.
Men or Women?
Here is a scenario – Wendy and Jack are looking at a property I am selling in Wellington. Wendy walks in and within 1 minute I could sense she was hooked, she was pretty much measuring up where all their stuff would go, but Jack her husband is really not so convinced and looks at her with a slight grimace and negative head shake.
Now flip this scenario and imagine Jack is the one who loves the property and Wendy is the one walking out shaking her head saying it is not right. If you had to decide which of these scenarios would be more likely to result in a sale which would you choose….??
Although not a hard and fast rule by any stretch, if you chose scenario one then you would be in the same boat as me – sorry fellas. Do I start to get a little bit of a Spidey sense after seeing so many buyers through properties over the years? I am not sure, but all I am saying is that if I see the lovely lady in the relationship walking out with folded arms and a negative head shake the situation may be a little harder to turn around. At this point I must point out that it would be foolhardy as an agent to ever assume someone won’t buy a home, but part of being in my position is that you must be sensitive to reading situations.
Emotion and purchasing a home
This leads onto the next subject I want to talk about which is the role of emotion when buying a home. When starting out, buyers no doubt have a criteria – number of bedrooms, floor area, location etc. But if I had a dollar for every time someone said to me “it just doesn’t feel right” or “it just doesn’t feel like me” I would probably be dueling with Bill Gates for who has the biggest bank account (ok that’s an exaggeration). This “feel” factor also means that people often buy a home totally different to initial criteria. I am making an assumption here but perhaps women are more acutely tuned in to a sense of what “feels right” for them and are less willing to compromise on this whereas blokes like me are thinking “well heck it has a big garage, imagine all the activities that could be done in there”. Of course it has to fit within the budget, people can love a home all they like but unfortunately in this world love isn’t going to mean the bank will lend you more money.
Emotion is instant, psychologists say people make up their minds about a person within about 15 seconds of meeting, the same rings true of property. It generally doesn’t take long for someone to make a gut “yes I want to continue thinking about this home” or “no this property isn’t right for me”. A study also showed that 62% of females and 61% of males needed just one visit before buying which is remarkable for such a large purchase but I am a firm believer emotion is a large reason for this.
So, what does this mean when you are selling your home? I really haven’t got the space here to go into too much depth but I am going to cover off 5 of the more basic rules that should be considered when selling, they are fairly commonsense.
It needs to be warm! Nothing will get buyers turning on their heels faster in the first 30 seconds than walking into a fridge. I will often pop by a property in the morning before an appointment or open home and turn a heater on if it is empty. Yes buyers probably know a heater has been on but it doesn’t matter, it FEELS good.
Have the home furnished if possible, clutter free furnishing. That may mean an investment in home staging if you are going to be absent and the house is going to be empty. It needs to feel like a home not a rectangular box. It has also been said that furniture helps give a sense of space and size, it can actually make rooms look BIGGER.
Odors are up there with the house being warm in terms of importance. Two of the main culprits are mustiness and animal smells. This goes hand in hand with the all-important first 15 seconds! So I will open windows and doors and give the place a good airing before any viewings.
Make sure the house is light as possible. If a property is dark it can be a real negative. I will pop around and turn lights on where necessary before an appointment. I would even consider investing in a skylight or solar tube depending on the severity of the darkness.
Not hard and fast, but we generally don’t advise on a large amount of structural or expensive work (expensive being full renovations of kitchens and bathrooms etc). I have had very good experiences however with properties I have sold that have had threadbare carpet replaced, getting painting done etc. Not to forget landscaping, I believe that landscaping if done right can be the SINGLE best investment you can make when selling a home. Make a landscaping plan and make it work!
Love to talk to you about any of the above, there is a lot more we can go over should you be thinking of selling.