We know that when it comes to buying almost anything, we make our choices based on emotion, then justify them with logic. It’s true for a pair of shoes, and it’s true for a home. Don’t try to ignore the role of emotion in real estate, because it’s there, influencing how people behave.
How many times have you cautioned a seller to try to keep emotion out of decisions regarding the sale of a house? As you know, that is NOT an easy thing. The influence of emotion in real estate is strong.
This is one of the reasons why most agents try to keep buyers and sellers from meeting until the transaction is final. A small personality conflict can easily turn a sale into a “No sale.”
Emotion comes into real estate at several stages in the process.
- When a seller is settling on a listing price.
- When a potential buyer is reading an ad or an online property description
- When a potential buyer views the house
- When buyer and seller meet – if you’ve been unable to prevent it
- When a seller reads an offer or is presented with repair requests after an inspection
AND at one more all-important stage. We’ll come back to that one in a minute.
First, it’s your job to help sellers keep emotion out of their home pricing decision.
That’s a tough one for some sellers, because they’re sure that the home they love must be worth more than any other house in the neighborhood. After all, it’s “the best one.”
And as you know, if they really want or need to sell, they have to accept the idea of offering the home they love at its true market value.
This is one of the times when you are called upon to wear your “psychologist’s hat.”
One of your most important jobs is to inject positive emotional triggers into real estate property descriptions.
Keep in mind that it’s an emotional response that will trigger a desire to see that house in person.
So take the time to really think about the house and what you can say about it that might trigger a buyer’s positive emotions.
- Will your description of a family room cause them to envision warm and cozy family time?
- Will they see themselves teaching their children or grandchildren to cook in this well appointed kitchen?
- Will they fall for the floor plan that puts children and/or guests at the other end of the house from them at bedtime?
- Will they feel excitement at the prospect of having a place to entertain friends?
- Will they look at the fenced back yard and think of the dog they’ve always wanted?
Leave the dry details for the details page while you paint word pictures that trigger emotions.
It’s the seller’s job to present the house in a way that triggers positive emotions.
But of course, it’s your job to coach them on that. When a buyer approaches the house for the first time, you want his or her emotions singing “I love the looks of this!”
When they enter the house, you want that love to become stronger. If the house looks clean and well maintained, and if their first impression was “I love this,” those buyers will start to see details that will justify their feelings.
Whether they say it out loud or not, they’ll start thinking things like:
- “Oh look – there’s room to put Rowdy’s food and water dishes out of the way over here.”
- “The living room is big enough for the piano – it could sit right over there!”
- “These bedrooms are big enough for the boys to share.”
- “This pantry has plenty of room for seasonal dishes as well as food.”
- “There’s the bay window I’ve always wanted.”
- “This back deck is wonderful. I can see us having friends over for barbecue.”
It’s up to you to reduce the role of emotion in real estate when buyer and seller meet.
This is true whether you’re representing the buyer or the seller.
If you’ve been unable to prevent the seller from being present when the house is shown, then do your best to keep them apart or keep conversation to a minimum.
It’s true that you might learn something that would benefit your client’s side in negotiations, but that not only goes both ways, it’s dangerous. You never know what seemingly unimportant thing someone might say to blow up the whole transaction.
It’s your job to keep emotion out of real estate when a seller reads an offer.
If the offer is high, then you have no worries. However, if the buyers have come in low, your job will be to tamp down those emotions.
This is one of those times when you must stress that the sale of a house is a business transaction, and they must not take any of it personally. You must stress to the seller that no offer is bad – it’s a compliment and a starting point for negotiations.
The same is true when the repair request arrives.
Keep your sellers calm and on track with deciding how to respond and proceed.
Last but very definitely not least…
Emotion plays an important role in choosing a real estate professional.
While there may be a few individuals who will choose an agent solely on his or her credentials, I believe those individuals are few and far between.
Most people want to do business with others whose personalities align with their own. We all naturally have more faith and trust in people who are somehow like us.
We also want to feel that an agent (or other professional) understands and respects our goals and wishes, and will provide what we need from them.
Clients have different needs and wants at different times in their lives.
First time buyers may want more guidance in finding the right home or in understanding the financial aspects. Other buyers might want an agent who can advise them about setbacks or zoning regulations.
Sellers who are downsizing or dealing with a house in probate might want a listening ear – or help with locating professionals to assist with packing, estate sales, etc.
Agent bios, when written correctly, will guide clients in choosing the agent who is right for them at that time. Your blog posts , written to let your personality show, will reinforce what they learned from your agent bio.
Click here to go to my agent bio page. There you’ll find bio examples, plus my recommendations for what should be included to turn you into a magnet for the clients you want most.
The emotion in real estate can help you or hurt you.
It will play a role no matter what you do, so take care – and make sure it’s working on your behalf.