General Real Estate
For Buyers
April 25, 2022

The 8 Second Rule

Behaviorists and marketers are constantly watching people's behavior as well as what is said and unsaid to understand their buying making decision.  In real estate, there is the  "8-second rule", that I have long paid attention to.   It might seem that Greenwich homes for sale would be a category of sale items exempted from the 8-second rule, but not so. The 8-second rule, which I have heard is credited to Manhattan Realtor and Shark Tank member Barbara Corcoran, holds that  "after 8 seconds, they've either fallen in love or are just honoring an appointment."

For homeowners preparing their own homes for sale, the test could just be another way of claiming that "curb appeal" and first impressions really count.  Of course, that's far from being the whole story—but there is a kernel of truth behind the exaggeration. 

That first impression is powerful. If the prospect's initial take is something like, "this is much better than how the photos made it look"  or "this looks like it's in perfect shape," hopes will be raised that this could be the one.   But if the 8-second first impression is neutral or worse, the showing that follows had better include some impressive, unexpected features for any kind of serious follow-up to result.

Whatever else its value, the 8-second test is useful to perform for owners beginning to prepare home for sale. Drive off, then come back and park where you would for a showing. Get out of the car, and look.

Your 8 seconds are up.  

If you can have a clear impression that what you see is a definite eye-pleaser, be pleased: the curb-appeal factor is going to work in your favor. On the other hand, if you found yourself more drawn to some distracting elements (like a too well-worn front door or a cracked walkway), you’ve just made some valuable discoveries—ones almost certainly worth correcting.

The 8-second test isn't the final word. Every knowledgeable Realtor® has examples of walk-throughs where key interior elements are so perfectly matched to the buyers' wishes that the day is won despite an unenthusiastic introduction. But the far more common truth is that eliminating any glaring negative element is essential to creating the curb appeal result that earns the highest offers.   Even though today's market is fast moving, first impressions are still first impressions.  Taking the extra time to ensure your property presents as strongly as you can will not be wasted.

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Robin represents specialty properties in other luxury markets. Having cultivated enduring, well-intentioned relationships with other premier agents around the globe, the reach her clients enjoy is unparalleled.

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