Recent research concurs with our own view that most buyers buy on instinct, typically viewing their eventual home no more than twice before making a decision to buy.
Buying a property certainly appears to be a decision of the heart over the head. In other words, the “I’ll know it when I see it” approach turns out to be quite reliable.
Despite the detail offered about their property by sellers when they instruct us to market their home, buyers actually register their preferences with a very broad brush indeed. They seldom, if ever, ask what type of boiler is at the property, or if there is a double wash basin in the bathroom or an aerial point in the sitting room before viewing it. These are small details which have little bearing on whether the buyer will find the property to be a suitable home.
Once certain non-negotiables, such as price, minimum amount of accommodation, and the general location of the property have been satisfied, buyers are primarily influenced by “How does it feel?” and “Could we be happy here?”. These elements are intangible, but if the right button has been pushed, virtually nothing will stop the buyer from wanting to buy the property.
Of course, the brain then tries to over-rule the heart, forcing the buyer to revisit the property, just to make sure. During this second viewing the buyer will take a more detailed look at the property, and may take more notice of the type of fittings and the structural condition.
The brain will usually decide whether to support the heart solely on the strength of this second visit and the buyer will either make an offer there and then, or decide against. Our job is to facilitate the right decision.
So sellers would be well advised to remember they are selling a home, not just a building, and work with their agent to promote the lifestyle benefits of their property – not just the features.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA
CEO – Oakfield Estate Agents