Get your price with a touch of kitchen sink psychology
You don’t have to be as savvy as Freud to use psychology to your advantage. Laura Henderson reveals how mind games and emotional intelligence help sell a property.
THE asking price of a property isn’t just about comparable values – emotional intelligence has its part to play too. A savvy buyer, for example, will not only look to pin-point a fair market value for a place but also to suss out how much room for manoeuvre there is with the seller.
By the same token, “switched on” vendors, even when they’ve reached an agreement with their agent on their home’s value, are still likely to drop the asking price a little, and not just to entice buyers with a bargain.
By adopting this approach, they’re tapping into significant thresholds, which occur every £10,000 or so. These are price brackets that would-be investors are most likely to put down as their pre-viewing ceiling price.
Once they see the property, they make an emotional connection to it however, chances are they’ll adjust their initial figure upwards – a £5,000 increase can, for example, be qualified as a “doable” addition in the mortgage.
So, if your property is genuinely worth £360,000, price it at £350,000 – that way you won’t scare off buyers who’ve set £350,000 as their cut-off point; once you’ve reeled them in, they can potentially be cajoled into spending a little more. An alternative strategy is to put your home on at £359,000. A negligible difference, you might think, but the psychological effect of rounding down the whole number (the 99p effect) can be profound, encouraging potential buyers to still see your house as within their means.
Reversing this scenario and pricing your property one tier higher doesn’t reap the same rewards. Put it on at £370,000 and to buyers qualified to purchase at this price point your home won’t seem like a bargain; it will merely seem overpriced. As for those qualified to pay £360,000 – what it’s actually worth – they’ll dismiss it as out of their league.
Bottom line: When selling, fix a price tag that’s slightly below a threshold, but close to a property’s market value, because everybody likes room to negotiate
“You can tell a lot about a person’s character by his way of eating jellybeans,” according to Ronald Reagan.
Buyers come in all shapes and sizes, but that shouldn’t stop you from applying a little kitchen table psychology to ease the negotiation process. Pinpointing individual “types” can not only boost likely interest levels in your cherished home, it can improve your chances of converting lukewarm browsers into readyand-willing buyers.
ambitious, family-orientated high-flyers.
They want a house that reflects their status – state-of-the-art kitchens, sumptuous bathrooms and outdoor play areas for the children. They’ll appreciate a facts-at-your-fingertips approach – point out key assets, then let your house do the talking.
self-made entrepreneurs and “creative” business types. They’re public spirited and sociable and make great neighbours.
They want a place to unwind, a characterful home they can feel a connection to. They enjoy human interaction and will respond well to a personal approach – a welcome handshake, a freshlybrewed cup of coffee. Drop in a few historical snippets about the house and draw their attention to any unusual design features.
champions of old-school values: heavily into family, and community. They work in banking, law and the public sector, and like a conventional way of life.
Traditional, characterful properties fit the bill. Less daring in their personality type, they respond well to supportive chat and reassurance – highlight the security of the neighbourhood, the friendly neighbours and the low-maintenance garden.
young and upwardly mobile on the lower rungs of the property ladder, they know what they want and have a game plan to get there. Their ideal home? A new-build townhouse or apartment in a convenient urban location.
Sell them the lifestyle. Point out status features such as wireless internet, roof-top garden, mood lighting – if it’s an inexpensive home in a desirable neighbourhood you’re selling then you’re on to a winner.
school leavers who have gone straight into the world of work.
Their ideal property is a belowmarket-value “fixer-upper” with garden, close to a town or city centre. Highlight the property’s financial potential and inexpensive ways they can add value.
The Bottom line is this: Understanding your buyer can mean the difference between a “thanks, but no thanks” and “we’ll take it” – so get the lowdown before the viewing merrygo-round begins.
PAST AND PRESENT: The Old Vicarage has been lovingly restored and boasts a host of period features. It sits in the shadow of Beverley Minster.
WORDS OF WISDOM: “Price is what you pay – value is what you get”according to bilionaire Warren Buffett