The 60 Second Zone

What is the 60 second zone? This is the first 60 seconds after a buyer walks into your home and decides whether or not to buy. This happens because most people, as logical as they may be, decide to buy based on emotions. Everything that follows the 60 second zone is simply used to justify the buyer’s initial reaction. If the buyer feels comfortable ot “at home” during the first minute of walking through the door, they will disregard the negative items they see from that point on. If they do not feel comfortable during those first crucial seconds, they will use any other items to justify their negative feeling toward the house.

Here is an example: Harry and Sally come to view a house. They wait at the door while their Realtor opens the lockbox. They notice the front yard is well kept and the entrance is freshly painted. The door is clean and the lock opens easily. As they walk inside, the smell of the house is fresh and pleasant. In the winter, the home is warm and cozy. The living room is the right size for Harry as he begins to visualize his comfy couch and tv. Harry and Sally loved that the kitchen was clean and uncluttered. They spend some time in the kitchen commenting on the convenient layout. When they move to the back deck with a bbq and fire pit and at this point, they are both in love with the home. They check out the master bedroom and the closet in there is overpacked and untidy. They think nothing of it and move on to the next room as they have seen this outside of their 60 second zone. When they return to the living room, they remember their dreams and decide to make an offer.

Here is another example: Harry and Sally go to view the same house. They wait at the door as their Realtor opens the lockbox. They notice the front yard is unkept and the entrance is full of spider webs. The door is dirty with shoe marks and the lock jams. As they walk in, the house smells musty. The living room is the correct size for Harry, but he can’t visualize his couch and tv. There is far too much clutter, the kitchen is clean and tidy but they only give it a quick glance. They simply want to see the rest of the house as quick as possible. At this point, they feel neutral or even negative emotions toward the house because of their bad experience with the 60 second zone. When they move up to the master bedroom and see the over packed and untidy closet, they conclude that the closet is much too small for them and when they return to the living room, they ask to see the next house.

What can we do to make that 60 second zone a positive experience?

  • Never assume buyers are creative and can look past clutter.
  • Focus our attention on cleaning the areas inside the 60 second zone first.
  • Minor details, such as the smell of a house, can have a large emotional impact.

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