What Makes People Buy a Home?

Home Stager with Prep This House Interiors Inc.

There are a number of reasons that get an individual looking for their first home or upgrade to a larger one.  Since time is a precious thing for everyone these days, and we don’t want to waste that valuable commodity looking at properties that are not contenders. We all start off with a list of “must haves” that are used to pre determine what homes we will even consider.

One of the “must haves” is a Price.  If a home is not in a potential buyers price range it is automatically eliminated.  Second “must have” is a desirable Location, close to schools, shops, restaurants, night life.. Whatever is deemed feasible for our current lifestyle.  The third is of course is Presentation. Is the property well maintained, landscaped, move in ready?

 It is sometimes said  that people can spend more time picking out a new  dress or the latest I phone, then they do their largest investment “their home”. Why is that?  Because people buy feelings!  The home they purchase will be where they raise their kids and lovingly watch them grow. It is where the guys will watch the Super Bowl or entertain in the back yard. When you buy a house you aren't buying a space to eat and sleep. You're moving into your private "safe haven." A place you can call "home" for years.


In his fantastic book "The E Myth - Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do about It", Michael E. Gerber provides all kinds of useful information.  However, when I read his book, there was one thing that stood out more than anything else. A small sentence buried on page 154:  "People Buy Feelings."  This is an extremely important point: People do not buy a product or service necessarily for the thing it is, but for how it makes them feel!

So how does your property measure up?  What feelings does your property  create in a home buyer?   With  97% of active home buyers surfing the “net” looking for homes on their “must have” list, does your home or the photos look  anything like what we found HERE... It is unbelievable that owners and agents alike would be okay with presenting a home in this fashion.  The only feeling these create... “Is get me outta here fast”!!  

Some say that you should eliminate emotion from the home buying equation. What do you think?  I think it can  be moderated, ( this is where a guy’s logic would come in)  so that you seriously consider all the facts, and then decide which properties really do meet your needs. Emotion is one feeling that can never be ignored. So rather than ignoring it put it to good use!

Comments (15)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Kym --- People definitely buy feelings --- of course all of the other factors you mention are important but the feelings come through even with the self-described most logical/non-emotional buyers.

Aug 24, 2011 05:54 PM
Kym Tarr
Prep This House Interiors Inc. - Kelowna, BC
Its all in the details!

I totally agree Michael.. it was strictly on emtion that I bought my first house!  Lived in it and loved it for 6 years! lol

Aug 24, 2011 05:58 PM
Jon Quist
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

I figured out that your headline really meant" Why do people buy a particular home". Then the article made a lot of sense.

Aug 24, 2011 06:14 PM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Yes it all comes down to how a home makes the the buyer feel.

Aug 24, 2011 06:29 PM
Tim Lorenz
TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team - Mission Viejo, CA
949 874-2247

People have and always will buy through their feelings.  Nice blog.

Aug 24, 2011 06:31 PM
Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Love this post, Kym. Purchasing a home is a huge decision with tons of emotions involved in the transaction. Establishing an emotional connection on the onset is what sets one home apart from another. 


Aug 25, 2011 12:31 AM
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

Great info Kym and I love the E-Myth - you pointed out a very valuable nugget of information!

Aug 25, 2011 02:00 AM
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Hi Kym--I trained sales people for years, and I think that the day that emotion goes out of the buying equation is the day that all the ad agencies close down and commercials cease to exist.  Clearly what home buyers buy are homes they feel at home in or that feel good to them.

Aug 25, 2011 07:09 AM
Kym Tarr
Prep This House Interiors Inc. - Kelowna, BC
Its all in the details!

Hi Jon.. yes perhaps I should have changed it, but when your inspired to write something at 11:30 at night.. you go with the flow.. sorry for any confusion

Michelle& Tom, like I said earlier.. I certainly bought my first house on emotion.. our next home was bought on emotion as well.. the emotion involved in getting a smoking hot deal! lol

Kathy, Karen & Janet.. thanks for your input.. I do feel that emotion plays a big part in the home buying process!  You buy what you fall in love with!

Aug 25, 2011 07:13 PM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Kim - Loved the link to the "13 horribly depressing listing" - the pot bellied pig was my favourite!  I have E Myth Revisited sitting on the table - must start reading!  I love that quote:  People Buy Feelings - how very true.

Aug 26, 2011 04:38 AM
Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Kym, there is no question that people buy feelings-that is why the cosmetic industry is built on emotion and feelings and why it always sits at the front end of a department store-a new lipstick can make you feel beautiful-so of course, that is how people buy houses.  Great points!

Aug 26, 2011 10:48 AM
Wendy Tomm
Beyond the Walls - East St Paul, MB
CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors

Really enjoyed your post and Sally's response was great.  I don't have the E Myth Revisited but will certainly download and read.  Thanks for sharing.

Aug 27, 2011 04:11 AM
Kym Tarr
Prep This House Interiors Inc. - Kelowna, BC
Its all in the details!

Hi Valerie,


Thanks for comment... I know exactly what you are saying, because I said those very words about the very house I am currently living in!  LOL

Oct 03, 2011 02:58 PM
Kym Tarr
Prep This House Interiors Inc. - Kelowna, BC
Its all in the details!

Wendy, Joanna, Sally..

I enjoyed writing this piece because it reminded me of the reasons why I bought my first two houses.. emotion was involved, albeit different ones each time.  The E-Myth is an amazing book, several really good tidbits of info!

Oct 03, 2011 03:03 PM

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?