In Focus

The intangibles

Team Fetter Sciola
David Sciola

David Sciola - Partner & Auctioneer

January 2024

Carla and I are thrilled to be back at work after (a little too much) quality time with our young kids.

We are very excited about 2024, coming off the back of our second strongest six months in real estate ever – topped only by H2 2021, also known as the craziest real estate market the world has ever seen.

Team Fetter/Sciola sold 61 houses from July to December in 2023.

More accurately (and with less ego), we helped 61 wonderful and diverse families, couples and singles sell their most valuable asset.

Some sales came with high fives and champagne popping, others came with a little angst and a few tears. (To be clear, we didn’t cause the angst or tears… and ideally lessened them!)

For most vendors, the overwhelming feeling when the sold sticker goes up is relief, hopefully followed by elation if it’s a great result.

For buyers it tends to be elation first, sometimes followed by relief.

Buying and selling a home is fraught with emotion.

We like to think that we base our real estate decisions on logic and fact – price, position, size, budget, school zones.

This is nonsense. Humans are not rational.

No one likes to admit this, but we tend to choose our partner, job, car, house, real estate agent based on emotion or ‘gut feel’, and then justify our choice with reason and data after the fact.

This is why styling your property for sale is crucial.

If buyers were rational, styling would be a complete waste of money, as the couch, artwork and fancy linens do not come with the property and shouldn’t impact the price. But styling does impact the price. Big time. Presentation is everything.

This is why two very similar homes of the same vintage, size, floor plan and even in the same street, can sell for a $300,000 differential… because one has a great ‘feel’ and sparks joy (as Marie Kondo would say), while the other feels tired, claustrophobic and dark.

And it could be as simple as a $30,000 fix to rip out the overgrown garden, remove the heavy window furnishings, recarpet and repaint throughout, and style.

I’m not saying the tangibles don’t count. Location, floor plan, orientation, condition, price – these attributes might get you to the property in the first place.

But it’s the intangibles – the sense of light and space, the flow, the overall ‘feel’ – that engage you on an emotional level and make you want to buy one house over another.

Some agents incorrectly assume their job is to convince people using data, rational arguments, or charm.

They try to convince potential vendors to list with them, they try to convince buyers to make an offer, they try to convince their social media followers how good they are.

This is the old school thinking that gives agents a bad name.

The best agents – the Carla Fetters of this world – are not pushy salespeople. You will never hear Carla say to a vendor, ‘You have to accept this offer’.

The best agents are trusted advisors who gently guide, educate, facilitate and empower buyers and sellers to make their own decisions, which should lead them to a better outcome.

Hopefully we can become your trusted advisors as well.

Feature Image: Sophie Blay, David Sciola and Carla Fetter (Team Fetter/Sciola)

Posted in Melbourne Real Estate Boom

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