Recently, an article in Smart Money talked about the psychology of real estate and how large a role it plays in buyers’ home purchase decisions. Among the findings:

Attractive real estate agents sell more. A study at Old Dominion University showed that men tend to pay more for a home if it’s being sold by an attractive female real estate agent. Women are also susceptible to an attractive female agent, although not as much as men are. And if you’re an attractive male real estate agent? Sorry, it doesn’t seem to matter much to men or women.

Don’t say “new paint”. A Texas study of 60,000 residential real estate transactios showed that listings mentioning new paint, new carpet or new roofing sold for slightly less than those listings that did not mention these cosmetic improvements. Seems as if buyers hear alarm bells when they see those words, wondering if the cosmetics are, as the research author noted, akin to “putting lipstick on a pig.”

Out-of-state buyers pay more. A Brigham Young University study of Phoenix area apartment sales over a 12-year period showed that out-of-state buyers paid on average more than 5 percent more than in-staters.

Sellers wear rose-colored glasses. Researchers at Yale and Wellesley College survey homeowners each year to gauge their confidence about the value of their homes. The average respondent was five times more likely to say their own home would increase in value versus the home of their neighbors.

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