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 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.
The Pros of Emotions
Importance of Memories
Having a strong awareness to the importance of memories is a valuable attribute. When I think back over the last few years, the memories that I’ve created with my family are my most precious commodity.
When you live in a house, every photo from that time period will have pictures of that house in it. Some people recall stages of their life by what house they lived in. I can strongly remember many of the different homes I lived in as a child, and have vivid memories tied to each one. Understanding the importance of finding a home that “feels” right is essential to feeling content, which results in staying in a home longer. Home buyers with a strong sense of sentiment naturally understand this.
Awareness of Functionality
Emotional home buyers are quick to assess the layout of a house to determine functionality. They will think through an average day in the home and make sure that everything meets the daily demands required by life.
The most common reason for moving is having outgrown your current house. When you find a house that has the perfect layout, it’s much more likely to be a home that you can stay in longer. The importance of the layout of a house can get lost on the logical home buyer who is more focused on data. All square footage isn’t created equal; you can’t just rely on the numbers, the layout has to be right for your needs.
The Cons of Emotions
The biggest problem with emotional buyers is that they are prone to make impulsive decisions. A thought like “there may be multiple offers on this property” can cause an emotional home buyer to panic and make an offer that is too high, or decide to move forward on a house before thinking it through completely. There are appropriate times to make a quick decision on a home, but analytical thinking must be a part of the equation.
Home Buyers who are emotionally led put so much of themselves into the home search, that they can get worn down quickly, and settle on a home out of pure exhaustion. If you know that you are a highly emotional home buyer, allow yourself plenty of recovery time during the process. There are so many emotional aspects to buying a house. From getting it under contract, to performing inspections, to hearing that your loan is going to need more time to process. The entire journey is an emotional roller coaster.