When people shop for a house, there are predictable behavioral patterns that occur throughout the process. The internal struggle between emotion and logic is common with home buyers. Everyone wants to buy a home that they love AND that has great features for resale. The challenge for home buyers is to find that perfect balance between what's practical and what's charming.
Emotion and logic are two human traits that are at odds with each other when shopping for a home. The struggle is real. Knowing how each trait can affect your decision making process while shopping for a home can help ease stress and allow you to feel in control of the buying process.
There are unique variations of the "emotion versus logic" battle. Sometimes the tension is external, between an emotional spouse versus a logical spouse. Other times the battle is internal for a first-time home buyer who swings back and forth between the two sides. There are many different scenarios.
So, which one is the safest to follow; emotion or logic? I’d like to outline why they are both important, and how together they make a great combination, when balanced. If either of these two sides are left unchecked, they can seriously complicate the process, and leave you with Buyer's remorse.
Let's take a look at how both emotion and logic affect the home buyers.
How EMOTIONS Influence Home Buyers
While I was watching the Super Bowl this year (Go Broncos!), I noticed a particular theme in the commercials: Missing from almost all of these cleverly crafted commercials was any mention or data about their brand or product. They were designed to connect emotionally with the viewer, most often through humor. Connecting with emotions is actually more beneficial for brands than sharing data or product features.
Marketers know that consumers are emotional, so they aim to connect with these emotions to gain new customers. It’s no different in real estate. When I list a home, I create videos like this one to establish an emotional connection with home shoppers. The more I learn to market to home buyers emotions, the more money I can make for my sellers. It's the main job of any listing agent.
The emotions present when home buyers walk through a home for the first time are interesting enough that HDTV has an entire line up of shows about it. People love watching other people look at homes. It’s an interesting experience and a highly emotive process, even if you aren’t usually a very emotional person.
Analytical, data-driven home buyers have a very different home shopping process than emotionally led buyers.
Statements you might hear from a home buyer led by emotion, that you would not hear from an analytical home buyer are:
- The Christmas tree would look great right there.
- Oh, I could just picture myself having coffee in the morning here.
- The stars will look awesome from this backyard.
- The kids would love to play in this room.
- Think of all the fun hanging out with friends on this deck would be!
Notice all of these statements are related to events; Christmas, having coffee, friends over, etc. Emotional home buyers are influenced heavily by memories. Creating memories is a common reason for home purchase, and is a HUGE motivating factor for home buyers who tend to shop using more emotion than deductive reasoning.
How LOGIC Influences the Home Buyer
Logical home buyers are usually looking for the best deal based off of the data. They don’t care as much about the layout, color of the walls or flooring type, as much as they care about the price per square foot. Their biggest fear is that they will choose the wrong house and lose money when they sell it one day.
Logic, or knowledge, driven home buyers need data. Lots of data. They want to know what recent homes in the area sold for, what the current owners bought the home for, what money has been put into the home since they bought it, and how much the home is expected to appreciate in comparison to other homes.
You won’t see many logical homebuyers on HGTV because they aren’t as fun to watch. They don’t provide a constant stream of feedback as they walk every inch of the property for the first time. They will gather data and then process it over a period of time.
Some questions you might hear from a logic driven home buyer, that you probably wouldn’t hear from an emotional home buyer are:
- What is the neighborhood sold price per square foot?
- Is there anything that would make this home hard to sell later?
- What have other homes in the area sold for?
- What are the average utility costs and yearly property taxes?
- Is there an HOA in this neighborhood, and what are their regulations?
Both Emotions & Logic are Necessary
As you can see, both of these traits bring their advantages and disadvantages to the home buying process. It is crucial to employ the benefits of both if you want to find a home you will be happy with and feel great about financially.
When considering a home, remember to be intentional about valuing both the data and the emotion of the property. Think of the memories you will make during your time there. How will the home feel to live in? Does the layout work for your needs? Can you imagine yourself living in the space?
Also remember to consider the logical side: Is the asking price in line with the market value? Will you be able to sell if you need to? Can you make improvements and add your personal touch to the home without bringing your investment higher than market value?
Hi! I'm Andrew Fortune, the founder of Great Colorado Homes and the creator of much of the content on this website. Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Please feel free to share this article with someone who might benefit from it. I appreciate your time here on this site and am always open to suggestions and ideas from our readers. Feel free to leave a comment in the box below.
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