After You Read the Listings, Your Agent Reads You

The New York Times:

Every saleswoman will tell you that the customer is always transparent. Maybe not entirely, completely, but compared with the poker face a buyer thinks that he or she is wearing, there are always expressions and signals that are obvious to the practiced observer.

When I first started out in Manhattan real estate sales, my boss shrugged and shared one of his favorites with me. “People with clipboards,” he said, “never buy.”

Whenever I tell that anecdote, I get resistance from someone who claims to have been carrying a clipboard right before buying a kazillion-dollar-apartment in One57, and if I weren’t so quick to jump to conclusions, why then I’d have my own yacht. But in my experience, it is true that buyers and sellers of real estate send readable signals — the equivalent of poker “tells.”

According to Dr. Sheena Iyengar, a professor of management and director of the global leadership program at Columbia and the author of “The Art of Choosing” (Twelve, 2010), to show one’s favorites first and last is to call up the “primary and recency effects.” The first property, she says, serves as a mental benchmark — everything seen subsequently is compared with it — while the last property, having just been viewed, is easier to recall.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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