The psychology of home buying should be an important consideration for any home buyer, seller or investor.
It wasn’t that long ago that we found ourselves walking through a home hoping to get a look at a property before someone else took the opportunity to snatch it up in a very active seller’s market.
We walked through the house and after about 10 minutes our realtor got a call saying the same house just went under contract.
To my surprise I felt a sigh of relief! By why? The house was perfect for us. It had everything we could ever ask and the price was right.
But I realized it was just one factor: There was a picture of the family of four on the wives bathroom vanity. Upon seeing that picture, I instantly saw that this was not a potential house for us but already the home of someone else. I pictured the wife getting ready at that same vanity every morning while her two sons ran through the hallways and her husband coming home from work through the backdoor.
Suddenly a house that would have been so perfect for us on paper was shaded with the colors of someone else’s life.
We all know the basics of home staging but so often we forget how important they actually are in selling a house.
From the time a potential buyer enters a home, they are making an informed decision about the home on a psychological and emotional level. When they step through the door, they enter what’s called the deposition zone. This is the place in any doorway where a consumer enters a room. This area needs to be clear and decluttered so that the potential buyer can make a positive decision about what he or she sees after walking in.
No extra furniture or clutter should be placed in the deposition zone – which is the first 6 feet into any home or building. This gives buys time to freely evaluate the room they see for the very first time.
From there, research shows that people are more apt to go walk to the right after entering a room. For the same reason, most stores will avoid having any large displays to the immediate right where a buyer enters the door. You want to have the deposition zone (especially the right side) clear of any obstacles that would distract the buyer from noticing all the house has to offer.
You’ve often heard that first impressions are everything and that’s definitely the case in staging a home. As the buyer makes their way through the home for the first time, they need to see a decluttered space, almost to the point that the décor and furnishings are a bit sparse.
The potential home owner needs to have “room” to visualize how their own items and furnishings would look in the home.
As I note in my post 27 Tips for Selling Your House Fast, the home needs to be completely depersonalized – no pictures, no monograms on the wall, no evidence of pets, etc. It needs to be very generic when it comes to wall art and decor.
Make every effort possible to help the potential buyer to visualize themselves living in that space and your property will be under contract in no time!