The Emotions Driving a Home Sale | October 27, 2016

The Emotions Driving a Home Sale
We’ve all heard people say, “I fell in love with this home as soon as I walked in the door.” In many ways, homebuying is initially more of an emotional commitment than a financialone. Why? Well, a home is several things: where you live, raise a family and it's a reflection of who you are or could become.

Regardless of stress, anticipation or in some cases frustration, the simple fact is a buyer can get attached to one home over another simply based on how they feel.

In order to key into a buyer’s emotions you must first understand that these so-called feelings are a necessary ingredient in almost all decisions. When a homebuyer is confronted with a decision, emotions from previous or related experiences affix values to the options available – in this case a home for sale. These emotions can create preferences, which lead a buyer’s decision.

Feelings are what homebuyers are after. And that’s why when staging a home we’re telling a story, mindful of the dreams, aspirations and lifestyle of the targeted buyer. By creating this scene it makes buyers subconsciously desire to live in the home they're considering.

Barbara Fredrickson, who holds a doctorate of psychology and is author of “Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals the Upward Spiral That Will Change Your Life,” is a pioneer in studying positive emotions. She describes the following 10 positive emotions that can increase the ability to move forward in life – use them when preparing your home for sale to tap into homebuyers’ hopes for living in their next home, and get one step closer to the closing table.

Joy. You want a buyer to feel joy from the moment they step into your home. Exploit this emotion by showcasing life and energy in each space, but especially in an entrance, as it's the first place buyers see. Unexpected pops of color in your decor help to add energy, and a plant or two add life to the space.

Awe. When a buyer walks through the home, we want them to feel overwhelmed with emotion and in awe of each space. Make the home feel luxurious, especially in the living room and master bedroom, by using paintings, mixed metals, glass, rich woods and light-colored fabrics.

Serenity. A master bedroom is the perfect place to create serenity. You want this room to represent a place to be at peace, relaxed and mellow. Use tranquil colors like blue, gray or purple, and make sure the room is clean and has a soothing aroma, like lavender. For inspiration, think of high-end hotel rooms, which are purposely designed to help guests relax.

Interest. Catch buyers’ attention to positive or unique features in the home, like a gourmet kitchen. Because a kitchen is the heart of a home, stage the room to showcase how it’s the perfect spot for all the daily activities going on. Whether it’s getting the family ready for school, organizing schedules over coffee or having a wine tasting party, set up these scenes to get buyers interested in the potential lifestyle.

Hope. Give the illusion of space, so buyers will feel they can grow into the home. In many cases buyers are moving because they need more rooms for kids, work or play. This is where you show them what they could do with this extra space. Make them see what the future could hold and give them hope of a better tomorrow.

Pride. The dining room is the perfect place to make buyers see how they could proudly present their new home by hosting a dinner party. People usually entertain because they want to show off their lifestyle, and highlighting a space perfect for throwing a party meets that need, especially for first-time homebuyers who may be coming from a much smaller apartment. Set the table for a party and show how easy serving guests could be.

Amusement. No seller’s home should be stuffy and boring. Showcase fun in kid’s rooms, the family room or play area. The buyer should visualize where he or she can catch a sports game with friends, play board games with the family and cuddle up to watch a movie.

Inspiration. It’s easy to showcase this emotion. Inspire a potential buyer to cook, for example, by setting a cookbook out among sparkling water and fruit in the kitchen. The buyer isn’t just reminded that cooking goes on in the room, but it shows how they can enjoy a healthy lifestyle if they purchase this home.

Love. Go one step further and imagine the love the homeowner will receive in this home – praised for an amazing meal or reminiscing over fond memories. You can evoke love by using color, adding family heirlooms and using pleasant, though nonpersonal, photos.

Gratitude. By tapping into the buyer’s emotion and staging a home, the buyer will overall feel gratitude toward the seller for taking care of the home and taking the time to prepare it for sale. It’s possible prospective buyers have seen some horrible houses prior to viewing your listing, and this home lets them be thankful that their time wasn’t wasted.


If you want to ensure yourself a financially stable future, it is time to consider a career in real estate. Investing in real estate can help people generate cash flow and accumulate long-term wealth, but getting started can be overwhelming. Becoming a full-time entrepreneur means leaving the security of a nine to five job in order to pursue ventures that tend to be more unpredictable; but, when done properly, the rewards are worth the risk.


If you want to ensure yourself a financially stable future, it is time to consider a career in real estate. Investing in real estate can help people generate cash flow and accumulate long-term wealth, but getting started can be overwhelming. Becoming a full-time entrepreneur means leaving the security of a nine to five job in order to pursue ventures that tend to be more unpredictable; but, when done properly, the rewards are worth the risk.

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