Coldwell Banker Real Estate Surveys 1,000 Men and Women to Discover Gender Differences in the Home-Buying Process

Survey Finds that While Couples Make Real Estate Buying Decisions Together, Women Make Up Their Minds Significantly Faster than Men

August 19, 2009 // Franchising.com // PARSIPPANY, N.J. -- It often seems as though men and women are from different planets, but every day millions of couples navigate through day-to-day and even life-altering decisions. Because a home is the biggest purchase most people will make in their lifetime, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC surveyed 1,000 individuals to discover how much men and women differ in the home-buying process.

The real estate company engaged a third-party research firm, International Communications Research (ICR), to delve into the innerpsyche of men and women, asking questions such as "How long did it take for you to know that the last home you purchased was right for you?" and "If you found the home of your dreams but had concerns about its security, would you still be interested?" Coldwell Banker Real Estate also surveyed couples on additional topics, such as "Who wears the pants in the relationship?" when it comes to making major financial decisions.

"The results were surprising," said Diann Patton, the Coldwell Banker consumer real estate expert. "Not only did we uncover some of the inherent differences between men and women, but we also pinpointed a number of ways that the two genders are actually the same. For example, both men and women are increasingly concerned with having a space to work in their homes - something we would not have seen 40 years ago." She continued, "We also found that feeling insecure about a home's safety is a deal-breaker for most people, regardless of gender."

Patton noted this topic is particularly timely given that many first-time homebuyers are hoping to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit before it expires on December 1, 2009.

Below are some key highlights from the Coldwell Banker Real Estate study:

  • Women may be inclined to make up their mind more quickly than men ...
    • When asked how long it took before they knew their home was "right" for them, almost 70 percent of women had made up their mind the day they walked into the house, vs. 62 percent of men. Conversely, significantly more men needed two or more visits: (32 percent of men vs. 23 percent of women).

  • Women would rather live closer to their extended family than to their job ...
    • 55 percent of women find it more important to be closer to their extended family (those that do not live in their household) than to their job, compared to only 37 percent of men.

  • A home's security is a deal-breaker for both men and women ...
    • 64 percent of women said that if they found the home of their dreams but had concerns about its security, they would no longer be interested. More than half of men agreed (51 percent).

  • Couples say that no one "wears the pants in the relationship" in terms of major financial decisions ...
    • When asked who wears the pants in the relationship (when it comes to major financial decisions, such as purchasing a home), almost 70 percent of respondents living with their significant other said it's actually mutual.
    • However, 23 percent think that they, themselves, wear the pants in the relationship, not their partner. More men than women said this (26 percent vs. 20 percent, respectively).

  • Men and women agree on how they would use a spare room, for the most part ... When the respondents were asked how they would use an extra 12 x 12 room if it could be anything they wanted, men and women agreed on the top three most popular, and very practical, responses:
    • Bedroom: 25 percent
    • Office/Study: 15 percent
    • Family Room / Den: 11 percent

  • However, men really do want a "Man Cave"...
    • Interestingly, out of the 8 percent who indicated they would turn that spare room into an entertainment center, it was a preponderance of men leading the charge. In fact, four times as many men as women said they would use the extra space for recreation / entertainment.

In addition to providing background on the survey results, Patton is able to offer tips for couples who are currently going through the process of buying a home. "These results further validate how critical it is for couples to recognize each other's differences and work together, from deciding a neighborhood to how to use a spare room," she said. "Online tools and the expertise of a real estate professional can be particularly helpful for couples, especially if they work together step-by-step along the way."

Methodology: Coldwell Banker Real Estate engaged ICR to conduct an omnibus survey via telephone in May 2009, among more than 1,000 respondents.

About Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier full-service real estate provider. In 2008, Franchise Times magazine's prestigious Top 200 issue ranked the Coldwell Banker system No. 1 in real estate for the ninth straight year and 12th among franchisors in all industries. The Coldwell Banker System has approximately 3,200 residential real estate offices and approximately 100,000 sales associates in 47 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker System is a leader in the industry in residential and commercial real estate, and in niche markets such as resort, new home and luxury property through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® division. It is a pioneer in consumer services with its Coldwell Banker Concierge® Service Program and award-winning Web site, www.coldwellbanker.com. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocation services. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated.

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