In many ways the psychology of buying a house is no different than the psychology behind the purchase of a good suite or a beautiful dress. Almost everybody has experienced surprises when shopping for clothes. In some cases you may see a beautiful dress or sharp suit that you’re anxious to buy only to find that when you try it on it’s not near as appealing. Occasionally, the reverse happens and a sales associate strongly encourages you to try something that just doesn’t look good on the hanger. You acquiesce, with stunning results and promptly buy the garment. The most important lesson from both of these experiences is that you don’t really know how you’re going to like something until you try it on.
How does this apply to your sellers? It is very common for sellers to be confident that they want to sell and have a good idea of what their next step will be. Yet, in many cases there is still great fear or apprehension because the seller has not defined or experienced the next step. Just like the suite or dress looks good on the hanger, your seller could think they know where they will be going or what the next purchase will be. Subconsciously, because they never tried the dress or suite on, they are apprehensive about whether their decision or next home will really be a good fit for them.
As a trusted advisor it’s very important for you to help each seller enjoy a comfort level with their next step. If you don’t do this your sellers may resist taking the steps to sell their home, refuse to lower their price, and in some cases even sabotage negotiations because of their subconscious fear of moving on. Here are some examples:
Problem: A seller has owned a house for over 40 years and raised their family in the home. They need to down size because it’s too big and expensive, but there are a lot of emotions tied to the home.
Solution: A trusted advisor will physically help this seller find the smaller home so they’ll get used to the idea of letting go of a 40 year experience to begin enjoying the next phase of their life.
Problem: A seller has listed their home because they want to move to Florida. Without acknowledging it, they’re apprehensive about relocating.
Solution: As a trusted advisor an agent should get involved in this process by recommending a qualified representative in Florida and by strongly encouraging the seller to actually find something they like. In some cases an agent may want to even recommend that the seller rent temporarily in the new area before they officially move.
Problem: An agent represents a couple that is getting a divorce. There’s strong emotions tied to listing the home for sale. Even though it’s foregone conclusion that the divorce will happen.
Solution: As a trusted advisor the agent works closely showing both the husband and wife homes that best suit the needs of each party. The agent lessens the emotional impact of the divorce by helping each party move on with their lives.
In each case above had the agent failed to encourage the sellers to physically experience the next step, a sale would have been delayed and the listing potentially lost to every party’s detriment.