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Does the Clutter Cost You Money?

Do you prefer to make wise choices?  Choices which don’t cause you to lose money?  Then why do so many people make the choices they do buying amid noise and clutter?

Noise and clutter can be a distraction that cost you money.  Researchers from the University of British Columbia – Graduate School of Business found that a disorganized environment can lead to impulse spending. Impulse buying is good for sales.  As an Exclusive Buyer Agent I’m confident it’s a bad way to buy real estate.  My sister recently observed, “Sometimes I think you (Homebuyer Associates) protect buyers from themselves.”

According to the Chicago Tribune:

“…in experiments the authors found that people in a cluttered room were more likely to pay higher prices for products compared with people in an organized room.  Researchers predicted that if a person was responsible for his or her own messy environment the effect would be even more depleting to their self-control.”

Consider for a moment that the many advertising sites – masquerading as real estate sites – are a cluttered room.  Because you’ve asked for information to be pushed to you or because you Google these sites you are creating your “own messy environment.”

A messy, disorganized environment leads to impulse buying.  Making any large purchase on impulse, most especially real estate, is not a wise choice.

Following are the top five sites – as determined by total visits to their sites – that bring clutter to your environment.   

1.         Zillow

2.         Trulia.com

3.         Realtor.com

4.         Yahoo! Homes

5.         Homes.com

People have an interest in real estate. (I call it real estate crack.)  The sites do a good job of what they were developed to do.  Through advertising, they direct home buyers to a process that doesn’t work for the home buyer, feeding the real estate crack habit. Neat, isn’t it?

The clutter comes in the form of the amount of information and accuracy of the information provided.  If only some information is accurate, how do you determine what to believe? (I know, I read it on the Internet, it must be true.) Examples:

1.  Homes are often listed as available when they have an accepted offer.

2.  The estimated home value is inaccurate.  One site notes the estimate is a starting point.  This statement was found in my research, but is not on the actual site.  Further, some sites use a range of value that has a 15% or greater gap between “values.”

3.  Homes are listed as having 2 bedrooms when they have 3 bedrooms.

The primary purpose of these sites is to put potential buyers in contact with real estate agents who work for the seller.  That’s why agents buy advertising space on the sites.  It’s not to provide objective real estate information.  More about how this happens in my next post.

In the meantime, beware the clutter people.  The mess can cost you in more ways than one.

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Homebuyer Associates
1835 N. Riverwalk Way
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-254-4129