How Do Emotion and Logic Influence Which House We Buy?

The challenge for home buyers is to find that perfect balance between what’s practical and what’s charming.  Everyone wants to buy a home that they love and that has great features for resale. The internal struggle between emotion and logic is common with home buyers. 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.

So, which one is the safest to follow; emotion or logic? Keep reading to learn why they are both important, and can make a great combination, when balanced. If either of the two 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.

EMOTIONS and How They Influence Home Buyers

If you have ever watched the commercials during the Super Bowl, you may have noticed a particular theme: Missing from almost every cleverly crafted advertisement is any mention or data about the company’s brand or product. They were designed to connect emotionally with you, 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 Homearly lists a home, we create videos like this one to establish an emotional connection with home shoppers. The emotions present when home buyers walk through a home for the first time are interesting enough that there is actually an entire line up of TV shows about it. People love watching other people look at homes. It’s an interesting experience and it elicits a multitude of emotions.

Analytical, data-driven home buyers have a very different home shopping process than emotionally led buyers.

Things you’d hear from an emotional homebuyer that you wouldn’t hear from an analytical homebuyer:

  • 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 how these statements are all related to events; Christmas, having coffee, having friends over, etc. Emotional home buyers are heavily influenced by memories. Creating memories is a common reason for buying a home, and is a HUGE motivating factor for home buyers who tend to shop using more emotion than deductive reasoning.

Pros of Emotions

Importance of Memories – Having a strong awareness to the importance of memories is a valuable attribute. 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. Understanding the importance of finding a home that “feels” right is essential to feeling comfortable, 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 imagine 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. You can’t just rely on the numbers, the layout has to be right for your needs.

Cons of Emotions

Impulsive Decisions – 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 make a decision 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.

Exhausted Quicker – Home Buyers who are emotionally led put so much of themselves into the home search, that they can get worn down quickly. This leads to the risk that the buyer ends up settling for a less-than-perfect house out of pure exhaustion. If you know that you are a highly emotional homebuyer, allow yourself plenty of downtime during the process. From getting it under contract, to performing inspections, to hearing that your loan is going to need more time to process. The entire process of buying a house is an emotional roller coaster.

How LOGIC Influences the Homebuyer

Logical homebuyers are usually looking for the best deal. 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-driven home buyers need data and lots of it. 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 TV because they aren’t as fun to watch. They don’t provide a constant stream of feedback as they check out the property for the first time. They will gather data and then process it over a period of time.


Questions you might hear from a logic driven home buyer, that you probably wouldn’t hear from an emotional home buyer:

  • 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?

Pros of Logic

No Surprises – Data driven home buyers check and double check everything before purchasing a home. They analyze every aspect to determine if the data makes sense to move forward. For this reason, they don’t have to deal with as many surprises later on because they’ve thought through all of the scenarios.

Less Risk – Logical thinkers usually prioritize maintaining a strict budget and are naturally financially cautious. They strictly adhere to the market value of a home, and won’t stray above it, or make updates that would jeopardize their bottom line when it comes time to sell. Logical home buyers rarely find themselves in a home that will lead to them losing money.

Cons of Logic

A Home You Don’t Love – Data provides the logical home buyer with a sense of control and helps them feel safe moving forward in the buying process. However this data can’t tell you how it will feel to live in the home. Because sentiment isn’t a part of their buying process, the logic driven home buyer may find themselves in a home they aren’t content with. This means that they will likely be right back in the market in a couple of years. Logical thinking buyers can be so wrapped up in the numbers that they don’t consider the cost of moving too quickly after a home purchase you aren’t happy with.

Fixated on Price – It’s important to get a fair value on any home you buy. Being in a home you can’t sell because you owe more than it’s worth is a situation no one wants to be in. However, the logical minded home buyer can be so fixated on the price that they overlook options that could overcome the price factor. A home with a lot of character, or in a great neighborhood may be worth more than another of similar square footage. A special feature or the finished result after a great remodel may drastically increase your home’s sentimental, or non-monetary value.

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We are so grateful to have worked with him. And when the time comes to sell or buy a home again, there is no one else we could imagine turning to.