The Logic of Emotion!
Homebuyers are an interesting study. Watching people make their
home buying decisions has brought me to the conclusion that
every decision that every one of us makes is based in emotion.
You heard me, it's all about the emotion. Before you deny what I
am describing to you, let me begin with me.
Painful as the revelation is for me, even I as a Naval Academy
graduate, retired Navy pilot, and home inspector extraordinaire,
make decisions based on emotion. It took some bridging for me to
get there, but I am there.
Have you ever had a feeling in your gut about a decision? A
hunch? That's emotion. We make decisions that reflect how we
feel about the event or expect to feel when the outcome is
completed. People, especially those that are highly educated and
technically trained, rarely realize and usually never concede
that their decisions are based in emotion.
Before discussing the particulars of the emotional responses, I
will admit that logic does play a role. What ends up happening
is, after the near immediate emotional response and decision,
the backfilling of logic begins. Logic is used to make the
emotion seem reasonable.
Emotional responses as I see them fall into two broad
categories. The first is the desire for pleasure and the second
is the avoidance of pain. When we are contemplating a decision,
we weigh the balance of the desire for and probability of a
pleasurable outcome with the fear of and distain for pain.
What real estate agents are faced with is responding to issues
presented as logic that are truly emotions. It takes a
tremendous talent to listen to the logic, but hear the emotion.
What are people really saying? That is the challenge.
Find and understand the emotional issue and you can keep any
deal together. This thought applies no matter if your role is
buyer, seller, agent, or inspector. Ultimately, you must seek to
understand why people feel as they feel in order to fully
comprehend what they really mean in what they are saying.
Not long ago, I inspected a home for an electrical engineer, a
very bright and successful individual. The home had a beautiful
swimming pool in the backyard. Our intrepid engineer had out his
digital tape measure and was measuring the distance between each
electrical receptacle along the rear exterior of the home. He
would measure, then ponder, measure more, and then ponder more.
Finally, he approached the real estate agent and me announcing
that there was an unsafe condition relating to the unequal
distance between the electrical outlets. He then spouted large
quantities of electrical engineer babble and finished with, "I'd
be shocked if this were not a code violation". I wanted to
respond with "No sir, the code is intended to prevent you from
being shocked", but decided that "hmmmm" was a better response.
After much debate and some real listening, the man's issue had
nothing to do with electrical engineering or the National
Electric Code. In his mind, he had the perfect place for his
lounge chair, but there was not a receptacle adjacent to that
location for him to plug his radio into! He was laying logic,
however flawed, on us in order to justify his demand that a new
receptacle be added.
Listen to the logic, hear the emotion!