BUYING a house is more about purchasing an opportunity to create a lifestyle than deciding on bricks and mortar.

It’s hardly surprising then that women play a key role in deciding on property purchases and influencing how a home is presented and marketed for sale.

Harcourts chief executive Sadhana Smiles said women had always been the key decision-makers in real estate.

‘There are not many men who would purchase a home without their partner viewing it and approving of it,’ Ms Smiles said.

‘Frankly, it would take a brave man to take the decision to buy property without the wife’s approval.’

‘Almost at every auction behind every man bidding is the wife pushing him to bid again.’

Surveys conducted over the past decade show that the majority of people searching for homes on are women. The latest survey, conducted in March by Nielson, found 53 per cent of the unique audience on were female.

A breakdown of search habits showed 52 per cent were keeping up to date on the value and performance of the market, while 37 per cent were seriously planning for the future.

But what are women looking for?

‘Women see the purchase of a home from a far more emotional perspective then men,’ Ms Smiles said.

She said women looked for features including a stylish and functional kitchen, good sized bedrooms, plenty of cupboard space and a well equipped laundry.

They also wanted to envisage the lifestyle they would be able to create in the home with their children.

‘Women will visualise the home with their family in it. These things have not changed,’ she said.


She said while female buyers were more emotionally driven when it came to purchasing a family home, women who bought investment properties were able to take the emotion out of their decision.

‘As more women enter the market as investors, they clearly look for return on investment and it becomes a more non-emotional purchase,’ she said.

Ms Smiles said the influence women had over purchasing property hadn’t moved housing trends, but it had shaped the marketing messages used.

‘The lifestyle a property can provide and location is always a key marketing message,’ she said.

So what are the key messages sellers need to make?

That depended on the buying market you were aiming at, Ms Smiles said.

‘Young families will have different needs to those who are buying to a have a family, to young couples to parents who are upgrading, as their kids haven’t left home,’ she said.

‘Location also plays a key role in the decision-making process.’

Identifying the type of buyer that was going to be attracted to the home would determine the best marketing approach, what features to highlight and how to photograph them.

‘Often asking the vendor why they bought the home will be the reason why the next person buys it,’ Ms Smiles said.

When it comes to presentation, decluttering is a key as it allows buyers to really imagine their own items in the space.

Highlight features that are likely to generate interest in the property.

Floorplans and video are a great idea. Professional photos are a must.

‘Marketing is an expense that often vendors cut back on, however your property is not for sale in isolation, it is in competition with many properties that may look the same as yours,’ Ms Smiles said.

‘When a potential buyer is searching for properties they will always look at photos and videos so it is imperative that you present the property in the best possible way.

‘Remember your photos need to attract people to come to your property.’


SANDY Ingram took the reigns when it came to finding her family’s first home.

Living with their parents for three years and with a second child on the way, Ms Ingram and husband Jarryd knew it was time to get in the market.

‘It was getting crowded because our family is growing and we needed our own space, our own home,’ Ms Ingram said.

With her husband working long hours, Ms Ingram started trawling through websites and following up leads on houses.

She compiled a list of what they wanted in a home.

‘First it was a school for our kids. Second was how many rooms there were and how big the house was,’ she said. ‘It needed a nice garden and a nice kitchen.’

The young family went through three or four properties before settling on a home in Pakenham.

‘We could see ourselves living in it,’ Ms Ingram said.

She said it was important to be able to visualise living there.

‘It actually is because you’ll be living in this home forever,’ she said.

Mr Ingram said they saw potential in the home.

‘At the moment there’s no sort of rear yard, so there’s plenty of work to do as far as what we want. It’s a nice big family home within our price range,’ he said.

Posted by Peter Farago – Herald Sun on 9th May, 2015