New Listings Are Like Shiny Objects
“As seen in the Real Estate Reality Column in the San Leandro Times & Castro Valley Forum, written by Carl Medford”
Crows are attracted to shiny objects. Ironically, humans are as well. It is why publishers use glossy paper for magazines, automotive paint has a shiny topcoat and lipstick glistens. Scientific studies have not only confirmed our attraction to sparkly things but linked that response to our need for water and survival. Viewed from a distance, water … sparkles.
Motivated by this trait, many of us migrate from one shiny object to the next. Advertisers understand this and endeavor to make advertisements for new products as “shiny” as possible. If done correctly, people are attracted and begin moving towards the object. Factor in crowd psychology, and, if the object is shiny enough, you get large groups of people migrating en masse to the new “thing.”
I believe buyers see a beautiful new listing as the next shiny object and, as a social group, move towards it. When marketing a home, we talk about the Golden Window – that period when the opportunity to get the highest price and terms for a listing is at its peak (the first 14 days). It can best be understood by watching buyer behavior: when a home hits the market, it immediately attracts a swarm of new buyers who migrate towards it as a group. The larger this group, the higher the opportunity for the seller to get a quick sale. This is one of the reasons savvy sellers spend time and money getting their homes to look as “glossy” as possible.
While this is great for sellers, it is bad for buyers. If you imagine that a group of 50 homeowner wannabees look at a home and, of that group, 20 decide to write an offer, only one ends up winning. In a classic example of “survival of the fittest”: the strongest buyer succeeds and the remainder turn away, lick the wounds of their disappointment and then, as a group, head off to the next shiny object, adding a few more new buyers to the group as they go. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The fascinating thing is that as they drive to the next new listing, they pass by less shiny listings that have, for any number of reasons, been sitting on the market a while and subsequently lost their luster. Rather than stop and reconsider these properties, they, blinded by the next shiny object, drive by and miss their best opportunity to actually purchase a home.
Carl Medford is a licensed Realtor with Keller Williams Realty and a licensed general contractor. This article is sponsored by the Central County Marketing Association.