This is a follow up to the Perceived Value blog (part 1, 2, and 3).

In our lifetime, we have all made many purchases. Some were major and required much thought, and others were minor impulsive buys; but they all had one thing in common, benefits. Let’s take the purchase of clothing for example. When shopping for a new jacket, shirt, or whole outfit, many people like to see how it looks on them before they buy. People want to imagine how they will live with it, walk in it, work in it, and of course how others might see them. If they feel good about what they imagine, they will feel good about themselves and make the purchase. So what are they really buying? Is it not the imagination of what benefits might result from purchasing these clothes?

A vehicle is another example. When purchasing a vehicle, many people take it for a test drive before they buy. What is going through their mind when they are on the road? They might wonder how many people they can fit, even imagining who those people are. They might imagine it being parked in their driveway, or they wonder about the reaction and comments co-workers will have when they pull in with a new car. What about taking trips, where are they going and how they look in the drivers’ seat? Where will I put my coffee? They even change the radio to their favorite station imagining that they already own it. So, again, what are they really buying and how do these examples relate to selling property?

When selling property, we have to release the buyer within us and remember how we ourselves are influenced to make a purchase. Many realtors and sellers focus only on the features and amenities of a home such as its spacious living room, newly remodeled kitchen, four bedrooms, hard wood floors, and energy efficient appliances. But how do all these translate to benefit for the buyer? What is it that they are really buying, a house or a home? We can’t forget that it is not the house they are buying but rather it is how they will live in it!

As with any purchase, buyers will go through the imagination stage within a property. The question is then, what are we as sellers or realtors allowing them to imagine? If the property is vacant, can they imagine family nights or gatherings in a living room that is empty? Can they imagine entertaining in the dining room with no dining table? Can they see how comfortable and relaxing the bedroom is without it appearing so? What about an occupied home? When the current owner has personalized the space for their use and their family, how do we allow buyers to feel at home, or imagine their life in a space that feels as if it belongs to someone else? Will they imagine their family and friends over at someone else’s home? Can they walk in and say: “Yes! This is home!”

By not considering the buyers perspective, we are only giving them the features and amenities to consider in their decision to purchase. We know, by comparison, there are many other properties and products with similar features, so, when selling property, we want to allow buyers to focus and imagine how they will live in the space. We want them to be able see their family and friends in the living room relaxing and enjoying each others company. We want them to imagine themselves having dinner in the dining room, and see how comfortable and relaxing the bedroom is. We want to show them how their life could be in this property. After all, is it not this imagination of how our lives could be, and the benefits of living in this property that makes the sale?

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