Survey Highlights Gender Differences in Home Purchase Decisions

Posted on 26 August 2009

Earlier this month Coldwell Banker released the results of a survey they created to discover the extent to which men and women differ in the home-buying process. The real estate giant surveyed 1,000 men and women, asking questions like:

“How long did it take for you to know that the last home you purchased was right for you?

and

“Who ‘wears the pants’ in the relationship when it comes to making major financial decisions?”

The results of this survey are important for all Realtors, Stagers and home sellers to understand, so that they can make sure the property they’re selling will appeal to the right audience.

Interesting Finding #1:

“Both men and women are increasingly concerned with having a space to work in their homes.”

At Stage to Sell, we always make sure that homes we Stage have a clear space set aside for a home office. In today’s world everyone (whether they work from home or not) needs a space in their home for a computer to pay the bills, do homework, check email and update their Facebook status! Staging the home to include a work space is especially important when you are selling a small home, which may not have  room for a full office.

This home was just over 900sf and had a tiny storage area reachable only by a spiral staircase in the spare bedroom. Because of the sloped ceiling it ended up looking like just a storage area when it was empty. But with the correct furniture it now made this small space into a big feature!

This home was just over 900sf and had a tiny room, reachable only by a spiral staircase, in the spare bedroom. Because of the sloped ceiling it ended up looking like a storage area when it was empty. But with the correct furniture this small space is now a big feature!

Interesting Finding #2:

“Women may be inclined to make up their mind more quickly than men …”

Almost 70% of women made up their mind that the house they purchased was “right for them” the first day they walked into the house (versus 62% of men). Thirty two percent of men (versus 23% of women) needed two or more visits to be sure.

This is why it’s so important to create an emotional connection as buyers walk through the home. It’s not just the furniture, but all the small details, that make us (and by us, I mean the women) fall in love with a home. When my company Stages a home, we always have the buyers in mind. We ask the Realtor who the prospective buyer is so we know who we’re trying to appeal to. If it’s a family, we often create an adorable child’s room that will make the mom & dad imagine their own child living in (and loving) the space. If it’s a young professional, we might shoot for a more contemporary vibe, with a high tech home office space. For retirees, we might use a second bedroom as an office, but we’d include a small daybed too, so the grandchildren can spend the night. These are just a few of the subtle ways that we make sure to tug on the buyers’ heartstrings with each home we Stage.

This children's bedroom was designed to make mom imagine her own children living in this home.

This children's bedroom was designed to make mom imagine her own children living in this home.

Interesting Finding #3:

Couples say that no one ‘wears the pants in the relationship’ in terms of major financial decisions …”

Close to 70% of respondents said that when it comes to major financial decisions (such as the purchase of a home) it’s a mutual decision.

Now this one surprised me a bit because from what I’ve always heard, women tend to influence the home-purchasing decisions more than men. Of course both have input, but generally women tend to feel more strongly about buying one home versus another, and this is where proper Staging can distinguish one home from another. When comparing two homes, both may have the same square footage and number of bedrooms, the same hardwood floors or granite countertops, but the one that “feels like home” is the one that will get the sale (price being equal of course)! Creating those special details that make a buyer fall in love with a home is what Home Staging is all about.

Staged homes create an emotional connection with buyers

Staged homes create an emotional connection with buyers

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Annie Pinsker-Brown has written 65 post in this blog.

Annie Pinsker-Brown is an ASP (Accredited Staging Professional), a member of IAHSP (International Association of Home Staging Professionals), an affiliate member of the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors and a member of the Culver City and West LA Chambers of Commerce.


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