Sell Your Home by Thinking like a Buyer

Seller painting a house

A Realtor’s® job is to sell properties for and to clients. But in some cases houses sell people more than people sell houses. Your property is the product that either attracts or repels buyers. That means that in order to sell a home you’ve got to think like a buyer. Buyers will often see your home differently than you do.

To illustrate, let’s take a tour through the eyes of a buyer. I recently showed a three bedroom, one bath Lakes Region home with an attached garage. The property had some good things going for it. It was on a corner lot in a nice location. The home is competitively priced and featured a vaulted ceiling, hardwood floors, and a good-sized master bedroom.

But as my client stepped out of the car I watched him pause, stroke his chin and stare fixedly at the home’s uniquely colored exterior trim.

“What do you think?” I asked. It was not a traditional trim color but it jumped out like a florescent Easter egg. It was a color that one would either love or hate but invariably notice.

My client looked at his wife, shrugged and replied, “I’ve got paint.”

I unlocked the home and gestured for the buyers to step inside. They both stopped abruptly at the threshold and our eyes widened immediately inside. It looked as though we had stepped back in time. The kitchen interior was boldly wallpapered and the colors and patterns were something out of a 1950’s home. This might not have been so noticeable but there were numerous large bubbles in the paper, some as big as man’s fist. The countertops were bright orange with metal trim and the cabinetry has been repainted with a brilliant yellow gloss paint.

My buyers exchanged another glance, this one not as forgiving as the one they had shared in the driveway.

From there we quickly completed the shortest showing I have ever conducted.

When my client’s wife stepped into the master bedroom she wrinkled her nose and immediately pivoted to exit the room. “That’s it, you don’t need to say any more,” she said. “This isn’t for us.” The tour was over and she quickly exited the house with no interest in seeing the remainder of the house.

I stepped into the master bedroom, which at on a rainy September evening was already dark and gloomy as no lamps or overhead lights had been left to illuminate the room for buyers. The carpet was old, worn and soiled, and I was assailed by a very strong odor, the kind of smell that, given time, can permeate one’s hair and clothes and linger. I too was eager to leave.

I learned later that the property’s owners had lived in that house for decades. It was their primary, full time, year-round home. We can assume that many life milestones, family events and fond memories occurred in that home over the years.

Homes can become part of our families. We can grow to love our homes and look past their physical faults and flaws, the same way we do with beloved family members.

But buyers do notice these things. Buyers do not have the same emotional attachment to the home that the seller does. And that’s why you have to think like a buyer to sell your home.

In this case my buyers were repelled by the bright exterior colors that welcomed the sellers each time they pulled into the driveway.

The same dated kitchen that evidently didn’t bother the homeowners was enough to stop my buyers in their tracks.

Worse, this entrance impression set the context for the rest of the tour. Scientists who study persuasion psychology call this the “primacy effect.” It refers to the fact that people tend to form strong memories and impressions based on the first information they receive about a person, place or thing. All other perceptions are filtered through the initial observation, be it a good one or bad one. In this example, the bubbled flooring gave a poor first impression of the interior of the home and set the context for an extremely short tour.

When you list a property for sale it’s important to remember that buyers don’t see the memories and feel the emotions that you do. Try to see the property through their eyes so you can do what must be done to create a great impression and sell your property as quickly as possible, for the best possible price.

In this case it may be inconvenient for the seller to leave behind some floor lamps to make each room bright and visible for buyers. It would require an investment to repaint the trim and blend aesthetically with the remainder of the exterior, and it might be challenging to remove the antiquated wall paper and replace with neutral colors, and to replace the bedroom carpets.

But inaction is a form of action, and it also costs money to not effect these changes for prospective buyers.

The home in this example is already priced below what nearby comparable homes might sell for, and that price may have to drop even further in order to attract serious offers. Price reductions can directly and indirectly cost sellers far more than paint and flooring.

Consider that the home in this example has been on the market for well over 100 days, costing the owners nearly a thousand dollars in property taxes on a home they’re not even living in.

Real estate professionals work hard to sell homes, but in some cases houses sell people more than people sell houses, and that’s why it’s important to think like a buyer when being a seller.

Brent Metzger is a saleBrent Metzger, Realtor at Roche Realty Group in Meredith NHs associate at Roche Realty Group in Meredith, NH.
Brent can be reached on his cell phone at (603) 229-8322, at the office at (603) 279-7046, or by e-mail: brent@rocherealty.com

Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest
Shop Local

Small Business Saturday in New Hampshire!

We have many things to be thankful for here in New Hampshire, plenty of natural …

Read More →
Couple downsizing to smaller home

Does Downsizing Your Home in Lakes Region Make Sense?

There are many things to consider when planning to sell your home to downsize into …

Read More →
Newfound Lake, New Hampshire

Newfound Lake is the 8th clearest lake in US

Newfound Lake is the 8th clearest lake in the United States New Hampshire has a …

Read More →

New Hampshire Rankings are Impressive!

New Hampshire has always been fortunate to land in many of the country’s top 10 …

Read More →
Lakeside at Paugus Bay

Impressive New Construction in the Lakes Region

For new construction sales in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, 2022 has shown very impressive results. …

Read More →
Inflation and housing prices

How Inflation Impacts Lakes Region Housing Prices

I was out with a friend this week on Squam Lake, and we were talking …

Read More →
Picture of author in the Grand Canyon

Is Lake Region Real Estate Drying Up Like The Southwest?

I just returned from a trip to Nevada, Arizona, and Utah this past week. Put …

Read More →
Brook Hill at Meredith: New luxury homes in Meredith, NH

Brisk Sales at Brook Hill in Meredith

Meredith— Sales at Brook Hill, a new luxury townhouse community in Meredith, have been exceptional …

Read More →

Impressive Sales at Lakeside at Paugus Bay

Laconia— Sales at Lakeside at Paugus Bay, a new luxury waterfront condominium community on Lake …

Read More →

Four Decades of Change in Lakes Region Real Estate

We were talking in the office the other day regarding how much the real estate …

Read More →
Supply and demand graph, real estate housing

The driving forces in the demand for NH housing

It is no secret that our country has seen some incredible growth in the real …

Read More →
Holderness, NH

Holderness Bridges Big Squam and Little Squam

Holderness is a lakeside community in the foothills of the white mountains on New Hampshire’s …

Read More →
high inflation

Energy & Ukraine Crisis Compared to 1970s Inflation

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has emerged as a black swan event rattling the world during …

Read More →
Tilton, NH

Tilton — The Gateway to New Hampshire’s Lakes Region

Tilton, New Hampshire, is considered the gateway to New Hampshire’s beautiful Lakes Region because of …

Read More →
Map of USA: How Real Estate Trends affect the Lakes Region

How Real Estate Trends Affect the Lakes Region

New Hampshire’s Lakes Region & New Hampshire Can you believe a new analysis from Zillow …

Read More →
Laconia NH

Laconia, NH — A City on the Rise

The 17,000 resident “City on the Lakes” is nestled on the shores of three of …

Read More →
Two ice sailing enthusiasts on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Waterfront Sales Activity and Real Estate News

Here’s an update on the waterfront sales activity that we experienced over the past two …

Read More →
Tuftonboro, NH

Tuftonboro — “The Diamond in The Heart of New Hampshire”

Located just west of Wolfeboro, Tuftonboro is called “The Diamond in the Heart of New …

Read More →
Aerial view of Lake Winnisquam and Sanbornton, New Hampshire

The Rural Character of Sanbornton, New Hampshire

Sanbornton embodies all that one expects to find in an old New England town. This …

Read More →
Castle in The Clouds is one of Moultonborough's largest attractions.

Moultonborough’s 66 Miles of Shorefront Captivates

By landmass Moultonborough, NH is the largest lakefront community in the Lakes Region with 59.7 …

Read More →
Kevin Shaw - Roche Realty Group

Kevin Shaw of Roche Realty Group is Top Producer for 2021

Laconia— Frank Roche, president of Roche Realty Group with offices in Meredith and Laconia, recently …

Read More →
Wolfeboro, NH — The Oldest Summer Resort Town In America

Wolfeboro, NH — The Oldest Summer Resort Town In America

Wolfeboro: a Brief History Nestled in the foothills of the White Mountains and on the …

Read More →

Roche Realty Group Reports Record of $170 Million in Sales

Meredith- Frank Roche, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc, with offices in Meredith and Laconia, has …

Read More →
Meredith NH

Gilford and Meredith NH – How Do They Compare?

There are 25 towns and cities comprising the Lakes Region. This week I thought I …

Read More →

EM Heath, LLC Acquires 1084 Union Ave in Laconia

The future of Ace Hardware EM Heath LLC in Laconia became solidified this past week …

Read More →
Roche Realty Group Sells Landmark Commercial Building in Gilford, NH

Roche Realty Group Sells Landmark Gilford Commercial Building

Gilford- One of the most visible, historic landmark commercial properties in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region …

Read More →
New Commercial Constructioin in Lakes Region

Commercial Sales Increasing in the Lakes Region

Recently I’ve been outlining the sales activity for residential, waterfront, and multi-family apartments in the …

Read More →
Laconia NH Commercial Building Sale

New Owner for 8,447 Sqft. Commercial Building in Laconia

Laconia— Exciting news for the downtown Laconia district. Another substantial commercial building, including approximately 8,447 …

Read More →

Strong Demand for Multi-Family Apartments in NH’s Lakes Region

Last week I was driving through Loudon Road in Concord in the busy heights area, …

Read More →
NH Lake

Area Lakes Show Considerable Appreciation

Below you will find data and insight into what’s happening in sales activity on 8 …

Read More →
inflation in shopping center / grocery store

More Inflation Concerns

More Inflation Concerns I submitted an article a while ago titled “Is Our Current Inflation …

Read More →
Alpenrose Village Retail Center located at Rte. 11 B / Rte. 3 in Weirs Beach, Laconia

Roche Realty Group Sells Alpenrose Village Retail Center

Laconia, NH – Tom Drouin of Roche Realty Group in Meredith represented both the seller and the …

Read More →
As the Real Estate Season Turns

As the Real Estate Season Turns

“There’s hope for buyers on the horizon, with more real estate opportunity to come.” This …

Read More →

10 Things to Consider if You’re Buying in a Seller’s Market

Anyone looking to buy a home today knows they are in a seller’s market, which …

Read More →

Third Quarter Update – Lakes Region Real Estate Activity

I’ve pulled up some data to provide all of you with some current insight on …

Read More →
Home Maintenance - Person repairing wall in house

Home maintenance the difference between sold and stuck

Be honest… is your home in need of some repairs? Because the truthful answer to …

Read More →
Coins stacked up indicting inflation

Is our Current Inflation “Transitory?”

The Federal Reserve officials have described the current period of high inflation as “transitory.” In …

Read More →
ABBA Tribute performing at the Lakeport Opera House

Meet you at the Lakeport Opera House

Last Saturday, Nancy and I were invited to the Lakeport Opera House to take in …

Read More →
Picture of

The New Hampshire Advantage

All of us who live in New Hampshire’s beautiful Lakes Region certainly have lots to …

Read More →

Just like vacation seasons, vacation homes come and go

When you think about it, all homes are actually seasonal properties. Whether it’s a primary …

Read More →

Hunt for lower prices like a lone wolf

If you ever watched Saturday morning cartoons back in the day, you may recall Looney …

Read More →
Birds eye view of Lakes Region New Hampshire

Lakes Region Real Estate Market 6-Month Comparison

We are halfway through 2021 already, and as we head down the second-half stretch, I’ve …

Read More →
The "Village Store" in Gilford, NH

The “Village Store” in Gilford Has New Owners

Gilford— The “Village Store” in scenic Gilford Village, a Lakes Region landmark since 1836, was …

Read More →
Lakes Region NH - aerial view of Lake Winnipesaukee NH

Lakes Region Waterfront Sales Comparisons

I thought I would look at the real estate activity on the Lakes Region’s four …

Read More →
Island Living on Lake Winnipesaukee in NH - aerial view of Welch Island, Lake Winnipesaukee

Island Living on Lake Winnipesaukee

The thunder of motorcycles has arrived in the Lakes Region. After a long year of …

Read More →
summer fun in nh - swimming in the river

Summertime Adventures Around the Lakes Region

Memorial Day weekend has arrived, and all of us are excited to kick off the …

Read More →
Are we in a real estate bubble?

Are We in A Real Estate Bubble?

Back in April, the red hot search on Google™ was “when is the housing market …

Read More →

Roche Realty Group Sells Artie’s Subs & Pizza

Moultonborough, NH – Brian and Kara Dillard of Barrington, New Hampshire, have recently purchased Artie’s …

Read More →
Laconia, NH - City on the Lakes

Laconia— City on the Lakes

The 17,000 resident, “City on the Lakes,” is nestled on the shores of three of …

Read More →
Housing Bubble

What if it’s not a bubble?

It’s a mad mad mad world of real estate right now.  The frustrations of buyers …

Read More →

Leave a Comment