In the first installment of this article, we focused our discussion on the importance of the first three minutes in home presentation. For the final part, we’ll talk about why and how people ultimately decide to buy a home in view of the three-minute first impression.

Is the three-minute timeframe a given?

No, it’s not. It’s not until when a person reaches that point where he or she knows what he or she wants that make the second round of inspection a more focused one. When you start out – this is especially for first time homebuyers – you sometimes feel that what you initially wanted is not really what’s best for you. There’s a certain sense of vagueness. So what happens? As you continue on to experience viewing different properties, you begin to reconstruct your thoughts until such time that you feel satisfied and confident that your decision is the best one.

Within that three-minute timespan, how is a decision to buy formed?

Let me quote a study conducted in Amsterdam by Loran Nordgren and Ap Dijksterhuis. The study was called ‘A Theory of Unconscious Thought.’ In the study, they state that “conscious thought is better at solving simple tasks and unconscious thought, described as thought without attention, is better at solving complex tasks that involve more variables.”

The aforementioned findings doesn’t mean that we do not consciously make decisions. It only points to the process of decision formation. Now, we know that home buying involves a lot of considerations or variables such as location, price, presentation, features, and other things that are important to the homebuyer. The homebuyer cannot evaluate all of these at the same time to arrive at a decision at that moment. What happens then?

What happens is taking all of these variables into consideration, potential buyers then filter all variables and focus on what they can easily verbalise. This is where we see home buyer preferences playing a huge role in decision-making. To illustrate, a homebuyer might focus on that ‘dream bathroom’ or ‘adorable garden’ to finalise his decision to buy instead of focusing on the entire home as ‘appealing.’

What about furniture arrangement, floor plan, and the entire physical structure of a property?

As far as furniture and floor plan is concerned, property presentation plays a huge role. In fact, it’s on this part where property staging matters the most. In order to highlight the best features of a property, a property stylist works with the homeowners to de-clutter, to remove personal items, to rearrange furniture, to clean the lawn, and so on and so forth.

The things that a property stylist does is not merely done for the sake of it. Because a home seller cannot impress everyone, and because home staging is not done in consideration of a single person, the resulting space should appeal at least a wide group of people, if not, the home seller’s target market.

In conclusion, the first three minutes of the property inspection experience is a fast-paced phenomenon. There’s that cognitive variable where thought processes happen all at once as a person evaluates the spaces of a property. There’s also that emotional aspect where the person tries to connect with the property. Then there’s that logical aspect where the person really evaluates whether or not the property is something that meets his expectations or not.