Are you a house-buying flibbertigibbet?

With the myriad of house styling shows, one would think that everyone was wise to the styling ticks that encourage a positive house viewing experience, but Stacks property finders come across many people who are housebuying flibbertigibbet – ie finding it difficult to commit to a property purchase because they are still having their heads turned by the wrong homes. They are being influenced by the subconscious signals, and whilst it might not make them buy the wrong house – although we do know instances of that too! – they are confused by their own responses every time they go on a viewing – which in turn makes them doubt themselves and their instincts even further, resulting in paralysis.

If you are buying a property, don’t be taken in by the styling tricks savvy homesellers might employ :

Heat and light are fundamental. If a house is beautifully lit, turn all the lights off, everywhere, then go round and look again. If the property feels comfortingly warm and cosy, check whether the temperature is only achieved by radiators working at full tilt.

Ignore, ignore, ignore – anything that will move out with the vendors. It’s difficult to imagine a property minus the beautiful works of art, divine rugs, and fabulous furniture, but help yourself establish a realistic image by mentally replacing existing furniture and furnishings with your own, essentially re-furnishing the property in your mind’s eye. Ditto for the aspirational bathroom products, fluffy towels, delicious smells of coffee / baking bread / scented candles!

In the same vein, do not allow fall for subconscious seduction. You are NOT buying the vendors’ lifestyle. If they’re sipping Champagne in the garden when you view the property at 4pm on a Wednesday afternoon, this is a scenario you should banish from your thought process. And remember, you will not inherit the sought after invitations, Grade 8 piano certificates, the angelic children on the photo wall, or the framed press cuttings when you move in. Brain train yourself by picturing the vendors packing all those precious things into a box on moving day leaving nothing but a slightly faded area of blank wall.

Beware too of some of the more underhand techniques. If a letter is left in full view evidencing anything to do with the property, its price, or any existing offers, DO NOT READ IT! You will be falling into a carefully placed trap and you will find yourself adapting your behaviour in response. No good can come of it. Likewise, if a neighbour turns up on the doorstep during your viewing bearing gifts of fresh produce or flowers from their impeccable garden, acknowledge that this could be a set up, and there’s a strong chance that the scenario will never be repeated, however long you live in the house.

Finally, know your priorities when it comes to external influences. A great pub, wonderful village shop, and desirable neighbours all play their part, but they come and go! Imagine one of them isn’t there – would it be a deal breaker? If the answer is ‘yes’, then the house is not for you.

If you know you’re a house-viewing pushover, take a hard-hearted, pragmatic friend or relative – or your friendly Buying Agent ! – to provide a reality check. If you like a house at the end of that process – ideally having viewed it on a gloomy, cold day – and you STILL like it, you can be confident that it should make it on to your shortlist. And then the REAL due diligence begins …. See here how Stacks can help you in that process too!

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