Do Psychological Triggers Draw You to Certain Homes?


By Melissa Dittmann Tracey

Determining which home to buy goes beyond the number of bedrooms, square footage, or even location, according to Azevedo & Associates, a real estate brokerage in Granite Bay, Calif. Instead, the real estate company is asking its buyers to weigh the emotional and psychological pull of a home.

The brokerage believes such responses are a major driver for home purchasing and developed the Houseonality Quiz to lead buyers through an exercise to tap into those psychological and emotional triggers of homeownership.

The company’s quiz is based on the Object Relations Theory, which emphasizes the human need for relationships and how that innate need leads to forming attachments onto objects, such as our homes.

In the Houseonality Quiz, you’re asked to visualize a scene of walking in the woods and approaching your dream home and imagining what it looks like. Depending on what you visualize—whether a fenced in yard or open, for example—the Web site provides details of what home you will likely be drawn to based on the relationship to the values and ideals you identify. Another quiz asks you to prioritize a set of five tasks. Based on the priorities you set, the Web site tells you what home characteristics you’ll likely seek.

“People have memories, moments, events tied to their homes,” Jennifer Azevedo, owner and broker of Azevedo & Associates, says in a press release announcing the new quiz. “It definitely is a relationship. … We are allowing people to really take a look at and identify what type of house they need in order to fulfill their lifestyle, their dreams, values, and priorities.”

Do you think such quizzes that tap the psychological pull of homeownership will help your buyers narrow their search for a home?

You can view the questions and answers to the Houseonality Quiz at the Azevedo & Associates Web site.

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. I find this very interesting. I think the quiz is a start but there are numerous factors involved. I recall many years ago almost purchasing the wrong house in the wrong neighborhood because I was expecting my first child. I fell in love with the charming nursery replete with a closet filled with perfectly ironed little smocked dresses. I was sure this was “my daughters” room. I was a professional model home merchandiser at the time and I knew better then to fall for the emotional tug but I did. That was 18 years ago, I know because my “baby” who turned out to be my handsome son just left for college!

  2. Great job on this article. I will want to try something like this for our area.