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Psychology Helps Santa Barbara and Montecito Home Sales

When you choose the Santa Barbara real estate agent who will be your home-marketing partner, you are choosing someone who will need to fill many roles: marketer, stager, tour guide, negotiator.  And don’t leave out another role -- psychology major!

To build our kind of successful track record, a real estate agent needs to study and understand the way prospective buyers think about their search for a future home, how they are likely to react to different forms of presentation, and what builds or detracts from the value they assign to your property. It’s psychology, all right -- and it’s usually an integral part of any sales or marketing success.

A good example of how psychology can affect a real estate transaction comes from a study done at the University of Texas. There they have a Real Estate Finance and Development Program. A couple of years back, they began conducting some psychological studies, and one of them used sophisticated statistical tools and a huge sample of real estate transactions.

What’s fascinating is what they discovered about using the word “new.” Real estate agents who marketed homes with phrases like “new paint,” “new carpets,” and “new roof” wound up selling them for slightly less than those who did not!

The study’s explanation is that, for homes that are not brand new, touting “all new” features seems to call attention to the fact that the items mentioned needed to be replaced. It unnecessarily opened the door to suspicions about what went wrong that made replacement necessary.

A more effective strategy is one that I frequently favor: under-promise and overdeliver. Rather than trying to convince buyers how “new” an older home is, do the renewal work, but don’t brag about it.  Then when potential buyers walk into the home, they will be impressed by the new carpets and fresh paint.  It’s the approach that uber-successful Zappos company founder Tony Hsieh calls “surprise and delight.” What is effective for leading a company and retaining customers can also be psychologically effective for selling a Santa Barbara or Montecito home.