Tag Archives: emotions

This week, I received a call from someone who has a beautiful, architect-designed home for sale in Lancashire.  A very unusual home, it’s a cross between a Huf House (do Google it if you haven’t come across them) and an individual ‘Grand Design’.  It’s all dramatic angles, huge atriums, and an abundance of glass, chrome and natural wood.

The photographs of the external are stunning; cleverly, there are dusk shots – images taken in the early evening – with all the internal lights on so that it looks homely and welcoming.  Because, you see, it’s not lived in.  The owner, who lives about an hour away and built this property to sell and top up his pension, has put a few pieces of furniture in the key rooms, to give an indication of how it could be used.  So the master bedroom has a bed in it, and the main living room contains a sofa and armchair, but there’s nothing really to indicate how a buyer might live there.

Now this is usually enough for a male viewer; men like impressive facades with dramatic angles and grand proportions.  They are interested in the bricks and mortar aspect of a house: the number of rooms, the outside space, whether it has a double garage, those kind of things.  Give him some gadgets too – a remote controlled fire, automatic gates, integral media system – and you’ll have him hooked from the first click.

Women are different.  We rely on instinct far more.  We will walk into a house and say ‘no’ before we’ve left the entrance hall, because it doesn’t ‘feel right’.  On the other hand, men can end up totally bemused and bewildered by the strength of our conviction when a home does feel right, despite perhaps having none of the attributes from the original jointly-drawn up ‘tick list’.  A lady owner may well tell you, even when she’s lived in the house for years, how she felt when she first walked in: “I just knew” she will sigh.  And by the way, don’t underestimate the importance of her buying motivation: 80% of buying decisions are made or influenced by a woman.  Ignore her needs at your peril…….

Statistics show that only 5.5% of men pay the full asking price, and only 78% offer 90% or more of the asking price.  Women buyers, on the other hand, are more motivated to secure a house, whatever the price, and 17% of them simply offer the full asking price of the property they want.  An impressive 90% of female buyers offer 90% or more of the asking price, so determined are they not to lose the home they have set their heart on.

So as a buyer, how on earth do you connect emotionally with a lady buyer to make her “just know” as soon as she walks through the door of your house?  As I told the seller of this Grand Design: by making it beautifully homely, and at the same time highly aspirational.    All the little touches that make a house a home need putting in place to seduce her: window dressing, luxurious bedding, sumptuous cushions, a kitchen full of gorgeous cookware, candles and towels in the bathroom, and those shiny floors adorned with warm, textured rugs.

I’ve estimated that to add this feminine appeal in a house that is over 7,000 square feet may well cost him between £20,000 and £30,000, but his property is for sale for £1 million.  A 2-3% investment is a far better route to securing a buyer than the alternative his agent is recommending – to drop the asking price by £50,000.

If you can identify what a woman wants, and give it to her, she’ll not only fall head over heels in love with the house, she’ll also persuade a less emotionally-driven partner that they absolutely, positively must buy your house.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

Glass table with flower vase on top What women want

What to read next: Home Improvements Designed to Boost the Value of Your House

What to do next:  Sign up to my Selling Secrets https://www.home-truths.co.uk/selling-secrets

When a potential buyer sees a photograph of your house, they will have an emotional reaction to it, to some degree.  The reaction may be positive or negative; it may be indifference, which will probably cause them to dismiss your house as a possible next home for them.

Clearly, the main image is crucial as your best chance to generate a positive emotional reaction, and one way of doing this is to make sure that your front door can be seen in the main shot.  Let me show you what I mean.

Take this lovely property for a start; it has some great period features – that decorative brickwork for example – and it clearly has an elegant and perfectly fitting front door, if you crane your neck to see it, that is.  What a pity that buyers can’t see it in any of the photos online.

And this old school house, with its pretty windows and attractive roofline, would look so much more inviting if you could see the front door.  If nothing else, I’m curious as to what it would look like.

This Lakeland stone property has been photographed at an angle that shows the front door, giving balance to the image and the best chance of creating a positive emotional response in a buyer.  I would be intrigued by the fact that the door itself appears contemporary in style, tempting me to seek out the rest of the images, to see what it’s like inside.

What a pretty conversion; imagine if the photographer had taken the shot straight on to the garage; the cute porch wouldn’t be visible.  This way, a buyer can see the character of the outside that could give a clue about what lies inside.

So if your house is on the market, check out your online advert to see if your front door is visible; if not, consider asking your agent to change your front shot so that it is and give your buyers the chance to make that emotional connection with your house right from the start.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch

Houses are composed of bricks and mortar, and are described in square feet and pound signs.  Homes are full of future dreams and hopes, of family Christmases, and special birthdays; of engagement proposals, football failures and trophies, niggling arguments and comforting hugs.  They are made up of your life.

When the time comes that your home no longer fits your life, and you need to move on, it’s rarely without a backward glance and a nostalgic twinge. That moment when you close the front door, and hand over the keys can be a bit of a wrench, even when your stay there has been relatively short.

You see, we put a lot of ourselves into a home. It is a bit like a mirror, reflecting back our personality and style; our philosophy and our approach to life.

Each home becomes a chapter then, of ourselves and of the lives we lead. I have moved 37 times – really! I have had, in essence, 37 chapters.  I think of my life in terms of the house I was living in at the time.  The house I call home now, is a very sweet, stone built cottage, surrounded by green fields and with views over stunning fells.  It sounds idyllic – to me at least.  Not everyone would love it.  And it wouldn’t suit every life chapter, but it suits mine.

If you’ve completed your chapter in the home you live in, and it’s time to move on, consider this – it’s now time to hand your house over to someone new, so that they can start their life chapter in your home, just as you once did, and as you are about to do, someplace new.

A home has to really fit us.  It has to feel like somewhere we want to come back to after a hard day’s work, and somewhere that we can celebrate life’s little victories.

If a home doesn’t fit, no amount of clever marketing, glossy photographs and eager estate agent will convince us to buy it.

But if you walk in and it feels like you’ve come home, you’ll buy it.  And the asking price is then almost immaterial.  If it is at all in your reach, you’ll make it work; you’ll find a way.  Because you’re home.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

What to read next: Has My House Price Gone UP?

What to do next:  Sign up to my Selling Secrets https://www.home-truths.co.uk/selling-secrets

Copy that crackles

When an estate agent describes a house he’s selling, in a brochure or online, you’ll see he uses words that are found almost nowhere else in the English language: “benefiting from”, “dual aspect lounge” or “located in a premier turning” are all commonplace phrases for today’s estate agent. Surely learned in estate agents’ school, along with the capacity to spell the room we eat in as the “dinning room” and accommodation with only one ‘m’, or one ’c’, or even one of each. Oh dear…….

I’m on holiday as I write this post, in beautiful and windswept Northumberland. Staying in a cosy retreat of a cottage, that sold itself to me via some appropriate images (log burner, super king-sized bed, coffee machine), and also, importantly, the right words: “squishy sofas”, “great jazz cd collection”, “secret garden”.

The whole quirky, fun-sized brochure is beautifully written, and – unlike most property descriptions – really draws the reader in. Listen to this description: “This architect designed house brings you the sound of the waves, mesmerizing coastal views and sand between your toes, just steps away from a spacious and light-filled contemporary interior splashed with vivid artwork.”

Or this: “The fitted gourmet kitchen blends together oak and leather furniture and a cosy ‘snug’ with flat screen TV and piles of reading material, leads of the living room.”  This one really sets the scene: “The patio is the perfect place to watch the harbor activity and the changing sea from sunrise to sunset.”

Now compare the above descriptions with those used by local estate agents to describe beach-front properties:

“A 3 bed semi-detached house located in the heart of the village with coastal views to the front.”

“An attractive three bedroom detached bungalow occupying an enviable position on Harbour Road, enjoying superb views to the sea.”

“The apartment is situated within the attic space of the central building with direct sea views to the Farne Islands and along the beach towards Bamburgh Castle.”

These are beach-front homes, for goodness sake!

Which style works better in painting a picture for the reader? Can a buyer really become enthused by these agents’ descriptions? Despite the fact that I’m a professional property expert who has herself, moved home more than thirty times, I’m still a sucker for the kind of emotive language used by the holiday rental company in question, and the combination of such romantic words and atmospheric images wins me over every time.

The lesson here is this: if estate agents employed the same attention to detail in their copy as the best travel companies do, they too would win over their audience – the buyer. If you’re still not convinced, take a look at the website of the company who got my business: www.coastalretreats.co.uk and lose yourself in some holiday dreaming.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

What to read nextFive places to go for inspiration when you’re selling

What to do next: Sign up to my Selling Secrets https://www.home-truths.co.uk/selling-secrets

When a potential buyer sees a photograph of your house, they will have an emotional reaction to it, to some degree.  The reaction may be positive or negative; it may be indifference, which will probably cause them to dismiss your house as a possible next home for them.

Clearly, the main image is crucial as your best chance to generate a positive emotional reaction, and one way of doing this is to make sure that your front door can be seen in the main shot.  Let me show you what I mean.

Take this lovely property for a start; it has some great period features – that decorative brickwork for example – and it clearly has an elegant and perfectly fitting front door, if you crane your neck to see it, that is.  What a pity that buyers can’t see it in any of the photos online.

And this old school house, with its pretty windows and attractive roofline, would look so much more inviting if you could see the front door.  If nothing else, I’m curious as to what it would look like.

This Lakeland stone property has been photographed at an angle that shows the front door, giving balance to the image and the best chance of creating a positive emotional response in a buyer.  I would be intrigued by the fact that the door itself appears contemporary in style, tempting me to seek out the rest of the images, to see what it’s like inside.

What a pretty conversion; imagine if the photographer had taken the shot straight on to the garage; the cute porch wouldn’t be visible.  This way, a buyer can see the character of the outside that could give a clue about what lies inside.

So if your house is on the market, check out your online advert to see if your front door is visible; if not, consider asking your agent to change your front shot so that it is and give your buyers the chance to make that emotional connection with your house right from the start.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

What to read next: Time to Sell?

What to do next:  Sign up to my Selling Secrets https://www.home-truths.co.uk/selling-secrets

 

A home is another member of your household. It’s the scene for dramas and joys, of discoveries and growth and change of people – of families. Your story is ready to be played on elsewhere, but this home needs another family to appreciate all it has to offer.

But who should buy your house? If you start to understand who will recognise the potential and appeal of your house, what you show them, (or what you get the estate agent to show them) takes on a different tack; it’s now about why this could be a home, rather than a house. Suddenly it’s about what makes the house magic and special, and having a role to play in people’s lives.

Is it great for socialising, or bonding the members of your family over meals? Is the kitchen a place for experimentation and baking, or convenience and ease? Where would you sit and have morning coffee? Could you snooze in a chair here in the last of the autumn sun? Is this a great baby room, or a gem of a spare room? How long has the house lived? What kinds of character does it offer hidden away – or proudly on view, and how will this matter to who lives there? Why should they buy this house and have it for 20 years?

When a buyer’s imagination is captured – the curve of the staircase, the real wood floor, working fire place in the snug living room…family meals and discussions or dinner party occasions…the rooms tucked away perfect for teenage loud music or study…the outstanding school a short walk away, or the unbelievable little Italian place around the corner – magic can happen.

There is nothing quite like the hunt for a new home. The exhilaration (the bathroom was gorgeous!), the frustration (will this ever be over?), and often complete disappointment (how can they call that a kitchen?), offer quite a journey. What about your home can create that oasis – the one that gets the heart fluttering – the inner voice that says – this the one?

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.