Housing market Rik 14 december 2022

Buying a house is also largely subconscious. This is something you need to take into account as a seller!

It is often said that you buy a house by feel. If it feels good and you feel right at home, it doesn't always matter anymore that the house might not meet all the requirements on your list. You have no influence on that gut feeling, it happens subconsciously. Buying a house is therefore largely unconscious. As a seller, it's good to know this, because there are things you can do to influence it. We would like to tell you a bit more about it.

Make a realistic, positive first impression: confirmation bias

The first thing potential buyers see of your house are the photos. These are viewed carefully even before a viewing is planned. With photos, it is important that they give a truthful impression of the property. This is because after seeing the photos, viewers are looking for confirmation when they go to view the house. We call this confirmation bias. For example, does the accompanying text highlight the beautiful 1930s details and does a buyer fall for this? Then, when entering the house, the viewer will indeed confirm for himself how beautiful it is and would rather not hear any negative points about the house, as these will damage his positive image.

Everyone is prone to confirmation bias. We tend to selectively gather and remember information. In doing so, we place more value on information that confirms our own ideas. So we look for information and images that confirm what they have seen or read before.

The confirmation bias is even more influential when it comes to emotional things, such as buying a home. It makes it difficult to look at the house objectively and see both the pros and cons.

Make it tangible: the endowment effect

Making people feel that the house is already theirs, that they already live there, makes it harder for them not to buy it. They have already become attached to the house, because instinctively it is already theirs. Because of this psychological effect, the house has already become more valuable to them. For example, use large photos or take viewers on a walk through the house in a video. It then almost seems to potential buyers as if they are walking through the house themselves, as if they are sitting on the terrace or waking up there in the morning.

Try to keep the interior as neutral as possible, in a style that could appeal to everyone and make sure it is clean during the tour. Then it is easier for a potential buyer to imagine that it could be his or her home. Trial living is also a good tactic to take advantage of the endowment effect. Once you experience how pleasant the house is and what it would be like to live there, purchase intention increases. A tasty apple pie on the table adds to the sense of homeliness!

Think about where you end your tour: peak-end rule

Save the highlight of the house for last. Thepeak-end ruleis based on the effect that we remember an event as we felt at the peak or at the end of the event. Consider, for example, a three-course dinner. If the dessert is very tasty, we almost forget that the starter might have been a little less so, and still look back on our restaurant visit positively. So save a surprising element or fun fact about the house until last or make sure there is one special element during the tour, the highlight.

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