Selling your House to Mattie Ross

The Mid-Year Stat Pack will be posted here in a few hours. In an artistic diversion, I decided to get YouTube with the July 2011 Stat Pack and present an image to sellers that I think is key. Sellers are really good at knowing “the facts” of their house, the features and attributes that lead to “value”. These are left-brain points of data.

For a few months, it’s really become clear to me that buyers genuinely make their decisions with their right brain. REALTORS are famous for talking amongst themselves about “buyers are liars”. It rhymes, so it must be true, right? But instead, the reality is that buyers instead tend to buy what they want… not what they say that they need. I love the example that only 15% of all homeowners who live backing to a golf course actually play golf. People who say they want a big yard will probably settle for backing up to an open area. Right now, I have a couple listings with big yards in 80919. One isn’t fenced and on a cliff. Everyone looking at it has small kids and you cannot get a line of sight into the backyard below the deck where the kids are playing. Is this a measurable, quantifiable attribute? Nope. I have another that has a third of an acre that literally looks like a park. We just had feedback that the yard was “too much work”. Measure that.

Buyers are operating from a very different place than sellers. Sellers know the facts. Buyers feel the risk. Sellers did this and that to improve the property. Buyers are going to be in the home for 10 to 15 years. Sellers know that so and so paid this for that house over there, and they aren’t half as nice as their house. Buyers are not buying then, they are buying today… or maybe tomorrow… or maybe not at all.

I don’t yet have a third listing in 80919 sold, but I want to commend the stager for doing something extraordinary in the staging: she set the scene for story-telling. She gives a buyer no option but to be transported into the story of the house and get entwined themselves with where this home is heading.

Backyard 5910 Bourke Drive

Take a look at these two Adriondack chairs in the backyard of 5910 Bourke Drive. What Sundae did just isn’t fair it’s so good. The first impression walking in is brilliant and I know that buyers generally make their buying decisions in the first 30 seconds inside a home (that is, if it was appealing online and the neighborhood and walk to the front door was appealing as well). Somewhere between 25 and 30 seconds in the home, the buyer will end up standing in the kitchen looking out through a new Pella sliding glass door into this manicured backyard and their eyes will settle at one o’clock on two Adirondack chairs relishing the sunshine. The buyer at this point is no longer worried about paying too much for the house or if something is wrong with it… they’re placing their future in one of those chairs.

Let’s add one more oddity: the generation gap. A lot of the sellers on the market right now, at least where I’m showing, are older. One home I have under contract I swear didn’t sell because the sellers’ furniture included some of the finest examples of 70’s suburban chic I’d seen in years. The house actually was updated, was pretty close to turn-key, but the staging, or lack thereof, was of old-fashioned out-of-style furniture, the kind of thing that time-warps a house and makes it hard for many buyers to see past and visualize their own future.

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