NC State Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Little Things Can Matter”

Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at how little things can matter.  Mike, both home selling and buying have picked up.  Buying a home can be both a practical as well as emotional experience.  Does this mean there are subtle factors that can impact a sale?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. We certainly know that concrete factors, like size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the neighborhood all affect the sale and price
  2. But the real estate company Zillow recently used their massive data base to show how little things matter
  3. For example, in advertising a home, Zillow found that adjectives like “cute” and “quaint” were interpreted to mean small, and so hurt sales and price
  4. In contrast, describing the home as “charming” helped sales
  5. Another example – saying the home had “potential”, was a great “investment”, or just needed some “TLC” lowered sales and the price
  6. Bottom line – if you’re a home seller, watch wording for your ad; if you are a home buyer, you may be able to perceive much about the home through wording
  7. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service