When a House Steals your Heart

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

You know what you are looking for in your future home. You have chatted to your estate agent and seen every home in the area that meets your requirements, but there is always something not quite right. Then an agent takes you to a property that is everything you think you don’t want – and you walk through the front door and fall in love.

Agents have been saying for years that some properties just 'speak' to clients and, despite the fact that it is theoretically not their dream home, buyers will more often than not put in an offer to purchase. The opposite is true when buyers view what should be the ideal home – if the property doesn’t feel right, regardless of how perfect things appear on the surface, buyers will walk away.

This begs the question - are some buyers too rigid in their thinking? Sure, the basics are always going to be important and if you need a three bedroom home, it is unlikely that you are going to settle for a two bedroom one just because you like it. However, buyers are often willing to compromise in ways that surprise themselves - and the agent showing them properties.

Most people have a clear idea of what they are looking for when they first start looking for a home. They know the area in which they wish to live and know what they like and what they don’t. The strange thing about the whole house hunting exercise is that very often, they end up buying something completely different to what they originally had in mind.

Some houses just strike a chord, often as you walk through the front door. Agents have reported that many buyers literally set foot over the threshold and, before they have viewed the rest of the house, have made up their minds that this is the home they want. Obviously this is an emotional decision, but one that has worked for millions of buyers around the world.

Generally speaking, both consciously and subconsciously, women tend to exert more influence over property buying decisions than do their male counterparts. For most women, the house has to 'feel' right before they will consider moving in.

Whether we want to believe it or not, psychology plays a massive role in the buying process and large numbers of buyers rely on instinct when buying a home. Why something just feels right no one seems to know, but although gut feelings are seldom mentioned outright, they are perhaps the strongest and most important feelings of all. Buying a home will always be a highly personal decision. Homes are regarded as a refuge from the outside world and finding the right space is as important as making the initial decision to buy.

Many estate agents will tell you about the importance of pricing and the psychological effect this has on the average buyer. They have a point – price can sour any deal and many buyers simply will not view a property, regardless of any emotional feelings, if they feel it is priced too high.

Buyers who listen to their hearts and not their heads may not find the buying process any easier than those who base the decision purely on logic, but one thing seems pretty clear – those that buy a home they love end up far happier in the long term.

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