By Geoffrey Kiragu, Founder and Director of Lesedi Homes
When you feel ready to become a homeowner, it is important to pinpoint the most important things to consider when buying a house. There are several factors to consider, such as your readiness, local market conditions, and making sure you know the important components of the home buying process. By giving some of these questions careful consideration, you’ll be sure to have awareness and mindfulness as you dive into the realm of homeownership.
Several factors must be considered when buying a house, such as the housing market, interest rates, and plans you may have for the future. If you purchase a house, it may be difficult to be flexible when it comes to your family or career. You also may be unsure if a neighborhood is the right one to settle in long-term.
The down payment on a purchase remains one of the biggest obstacles in the way of potential buyers. Many Kenyans, in particular with low income, have found it difficult to save up a lump sum of money. If that wasn’t enough, loss of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic have made it even more difficult for Kenyans. Rents have made it utterly impossible to save up enough money for a down payment.
What drives people to buy?
Emotion will typically drive many people’s desire to buy a home. One might feel frustrated with the current living space or excited about the opportunity to experience life in a different area. Whether someone is buying a house or an apartment to live in, they’re buying a home. It’s a place where you’ll create memories and for some people, there is a strong sense of emotional attachment.
There’s no denying that buying a home is a big decision and yet you may be surprised by the number of people who are influenced by factors other than price, resale value and location. From the number of a house to a lick of new paint on the walls, it seems we are influenced by emotion and aesthetic much more than we think.
That new paint job may have only cost a few thousands and a few hours of your time but to a prospective buyer, a newly painted wall can be perceived as added value. Superficial aspects such as a room painted in an ugly color can make people less likely to buy a house—even though fixing such a problem is as cheap as a couple cans of paint.
Like all introductions, first impressions count. A buyer’s first experience with a home will either leave a lasting impression or not. Appeal to the senses. Have fresh flowers arranged in nice vases. Light some scented candles to create a welcoming experience for visitors.
Psychologically, buyers are motivated by added value and getting the most they can from their seller. Value, it can be argued, is not a fixed number – and relative, depending on what the buyer has to gain and what they’re willing to pay. As a seller or an agent, you want to appeal to this psychological need to “win” by demonstrating as great a value as possible, relative to price. Consider offering a gift voucher or covering a gas/electricity bill for the first month.
A Home That Tells a Story
Story telling is a powerful medium in sales and marketing. While the logical side of a buyer’s brain is apt to examine numbers, technical specs, history, potential resale value…etc, their psychological side responds to romanticized stories of their previous owner.
The secret to story telling
Not all stories will resonate with buyers and the chances are, a home is likely to have more than one story. Get to know the home’s history, collect a few stories for reference so you can cater your story to the audience.
The Ideal Lifestyle
It’s not just about the home. When homebuyers are considering a purchase, they’re buying into a lifestyle. If someone is interested in properties in a certain area, such as the beach, they’re likely to be looking for an active lifestyle with good cafes. For some, living in Diani Beach means morning walks along the beach before work, an afternoon surf or Saturday Mnazi at their favorite local joint.
How to sell a lifestyle, not a home
Understand your area beyond the technical specs of a home. Get to know the history of the area, its local restaurants and schools and such like factors. Is there an award-winning musician around the corner? Is the house close to some of the best farmers markets? All these little things matter when people are buying into a lifestyle.
Understanding the psychology of a homebuyer can help you find the perfect property for your homeowner. Check out a variety of our homes in different areas, all developed with clients’ interests in mind.