Understanding Emotions… Not Playing on Emotions

It’s often said the buying a home is an emotional purchase. While of course budget, location, and timeline for needing or wanting to move is important, there is a deeper psychology that comes into play when purchasing a home.

At its core, owning a home begins with the foundational levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This motivational theory in psychology from American psychologist, Abraham Maslow’s 1943 paper, “A theory of Human Motivation,” published in the Journal Psychological Review talks about the 5 levels of needs. His theory was you needed to satisfy one level before you could move up to the next. Each level builds upon itself.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:


  • Level One – Physiological Needs – air, water, food, shelter, sleep, clothing, reproduction.
  • Level Two – Safety Needs – personal security, employment, resources, health, property.
  • Level Three – Love and Belonging – friendship, intimacy, family, sense of connection.
  • Level Four – Esteem – respect, self-esteem, status, recognition, strength, freedom.
  • Level Five – Self-actualization – desire to become the most that one can be.

From Shelter in level one to property in level two, through friendship and family and a sense of belonging in level three, all of these speak to an intrinsic need for a roof over our heads, but more specifically the American Dream of homeownership.  For anyone who’s ever gone from renting something to owning something, there is a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, a feeling of belonging that is not quantifiable. Yet we can call it emotional. It brings up emotions.

Because there are such complexities that go into purchasing a home, it’s important for salespeople to not only understand the power they wield when working with new home buyers, but the ways in which they can help each buyer get what they want and what will satisfy their needs.

I’ve always believed a strong OSC can build rapport, trust, and become a trusted advisor and guide to new home buyers. As an online salesperson I didn’t want to sell people something they didn’t want or need, I wanted to make sure to help them find exactly what fit their needs, wants and desires. In order to do this, you need to dig deep into their why’s, their pain points, their motivations for their moves.

Buying a home can be a powerful roller-coaster of emotions and feelings. As a guide for the buying journey, we shouldn’t take or responsibilities lightly. Understanding emotions and motivations for home purchases are not ways to manipulate people into buying something they don’t want or need, but instead to help match them to the right home that will work for all their needs. This is why it’s so important to slow down and learn about people. Listen. Ask the right questions. Help them bring down their walls so that you can help them.

When you can understand the emotions involved in the home buying purchase, and the driving factors behind them, you can become that trusted advisor.  It’s all about understanding the why behind the why and genuinely caring about matching people to the right homes to satisfy their needs.