HOW PROPERTY MAKEOVERS INFLUENCE CHOICE

Editor’s Note:

We live each day making a string of decisions that almost always involves choice. From the places we go to the food that we eat, we exercise our freewill to make a choice. In the mind of a real estate agent, the decision of homebuyers to purchase a property appears to be a result of competing elements of value. But that may not be the case.

Journey with us as we analyse the precepts of choice when it comes to home buying.


How do you make homebuyers choose the property you’re selling? What do you have to offer to secure that purchase? It’s not absolute, but understanding the constructs of making a choice helps a great deal when dealing with homebuyers. By understanding the cognitive work that goes on within them, you’ll be more apt to convince them.

Understanding Choice

Merriam-Webster defines choice as ‘the opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities; the opportunity or power to make a decision.’ The very indication of freedom, choice endows power on individuals to exercise their preference. But there’s a catch.

The Consequence of Choice

Choosing something over another involves an act of sacrifice. A compromise takes place in a homebuyer’s mind knowing that when he chooses a property, he’s giving up another and may not get another chance to reconsider it.

The Element of Prior Exposure

In psychology, this is called this ‘priming.’ Priming deals with the effect of one stimulus on our response to another. In Australia, priming is already in effect among homebuyers. That’s because real estate agents engage in a property makeover or in pre-sale property presentation to maximise a property’s appeal and to increase competition. The transformation gets more people interested. Homebuyers are very much primed for this. As a result, homebuyers are more likely to get attracted to a renovated or a well-presented property.

The Effect of Priming on Choice

When homebuyers are primed to recognise beautifully designed homes as desireable ones, they’re prone to limit their choices. That’s not to say that they’ll willingly settle for something less than what’s perceived to be beautiful. It all boils down to how information is delivered before home buyers.

Bias and Choice Formation

There are also existing subconscious processes that take place in homebuyers’ minds that influence their decision. These are called biases that come in different forms. We’re discussing four that are likely to influence buying decisions in a separate blog post. Have a read about Bias and the Formation of Choice.

Facilitating Choice among Home Buyers

Now that you’re aware of some of the precursors when it comes to choice formation and decision making, what specific techniques do you need to employ to finally win that buy-in?

Cut it down

The trick is to attract homebuyers with a fair amount of information. That’s whether you’re presenting the features of a property or the options they have for versatility of space for their purchase. How do you go about this? The answer lies in the simple act of listening. By thoughtfully listening, you’ll be able to identify the element of the property that a homebuyer values and present it to them.

Present options in a concrete manner

Homebuyer decisions are prone to be influenced when they understand and feel the consequences associated with each choice they make. That’s because when it comes to buying transactions, providing concrete explanations is simpler than abstraction. Show them the property; rather, show them the things that they’re looking for in a home to elicit a buying response.  In property makeover, this translates to great space management with desireable furniture – creating a broadly appealing and wishful space for someone to compete for to call home.

Categorise your offering

This is entirely up to your sales prowess. Being inventive matters a lot in the real estate scene. What you shouldn’t forget is to categorise the elements of your presentation so that buyers can easily grasp its benefits.

Condition for complexity and property makeover

In the context of maximising the sales potential of a property, this part deviates from the first three because it pertains to pre-sale property presentation. More specifically, it deals with property makeover.

In common application, this technique means presenting potential homebuyers with simple choices (e.g. choosing the colour of a room) first before the more complex ones (e.g. furniture hire). Since allowing potential homebuyers to dictate the direction of a property makeover is not the norm, you’d like to be armed and ready the moment they step inside the property’s premises.

The key concept here is related to cutting homebuyer choices. Instead of making them choose the colour that they’d like and then you contacting the property makeover specialist, why not choose a contemporary but a neutral colour? Or why don’t you just work with the vendor and the property makeover specialist to maximise the property’s appeal before you open it out to the market?

Working with a property makeover specialist outstrips a non-proactive approach sales-wise. That’s because the latter knows how to tailor a property makeover project to the needs of your target buyers. On top of that, recommending to do a property makeover to your client reinforces what you’re about to do when you cut down on your choice offering, concrete presentation, and offer categorisation. The result: a higher probability for a homebuyer to consider the property you’re selling more than another.