Don't get caught up in the psychology of real estate markets

Real estate markets, especially in trend-setting areas such as New York, often rely on the power of psychology to drive buyers into a deal. Traditionally, for example, realtors might create alluring online ads to drive more people to see a property. Once they get a crowd rushing an open house, they use that as leverage to create a sense of urgency about the deal: With so many people looking, a buyer who wants the property needs to leap now.

Another thing real estate professionals do to boost the impact of sales listings is price the listing just below a round number. For example, $399,000 looks better to buyers than $400,000, even though the difference isn't that much. The difference between a round number and a slightly lower number could mean the difference between a property sitting on the market for months verses selling within days.

Most agents also stage homes and apartments, creating a welcoming space that calls to buyers. When you walk into these spaces, you feel like you want to stay there because it's pleasant, warm and smells nice. When shopping for residential real estate, make sure you are responding to the actual property and not the staged elements. Ask yourself if you still like the property after all the furniture or decor is removed, and does the property actually meet your needs.

A great way to put some distance between yourself and the psychological tricks of real estate pros is to have a lawyer look over any contract or paperwork prior to you signing it. Your lawyer can point out possible issues with the deal that you might not notice if you are caught up in the rush of the purchase or how much you enjoyed the property. Our firm works with people throughout the residential purchase process to ensure they are protected and understand all their options.