Why we buy and sell our homes is an absorbing topic. The motivations driving us into the market can be a as simple as running out of space or much more complex set of circumstances, often financial.

Some of the more common factors revolve around lifestyle changes or emotional factors like FOMO – fear of missing out. Recently we’ve also witnessed an increase in the number of people neither buying or selling, or at least delaying entry into the housing market.

Affordability is one major cause, but there are others including the fact that more adult children continue to live at home with mum and dad. Younger generations are also much more mobile as they focus on their professional career development and don’t want to be tied to a location. Another big influence is that more people are getting married later in life, and this can also delay home buying trends.


The motivation for selling can be varied and as might be expected, sometimes the reason naturally overlap.

A death in the family or a divorce or separation can often trigger the sale of the family home. Under these circumstances, when personal relationships are involved, it’s possibly be a stressful time for everyone.

While downsizing can be a much more positive move to help release capital, creating more cash for travel and reduce the burden of maintenance. The package of benefits looks enticing, more time, more cash and less stress.

Sizing the family home up or down will be driven by varied reasons and when there’s a need for more space to accommodate a growing family that’s usually a positive experience. A smaller place might be sold to help purchase a new home to accommodate a hobby or house ageing parents.

Other lifestyle changes can be varied. A new job with a higher income, wanting to be near family or away from family, cashing out equity or moving for health reason are all possible influences. Others might sell because a property needs renovation or the neighbourhood changes with the arrival of new infrastructure. The reasons to sell are wide-ranging.


Just like selling, when it comes time to buy a property there’s lots to think about. Heading the list is the general idea that when you own your own home you’re in control, there’s pride of ownership and little risk of being turned-out.

We seem to forget about (at least for a time) mortgage repayments, body corporate fees, rates and maintenance.

Varied surveys also suggest that not having to pay rent, potential capital gains, accumulating equity and stability are the big factors. Buyers also have a lot to consider staring with what price they should pay or need to pay and here again emotions come into play.

In some markets buyers are driven by a lack of stock, they simply can’t find a suitable property, the buying process becomes very personal quest. It’s a theme we see repeated time and again in marketing themes from the banks.

Sellers and buyers also cross paths and sellers who do not present properties to maximise their appeal can be left wondering why buyers fail to fall in love with the home. And for both sides marketing is important to help the process of buying or selling run smoothly and timing will always be an issue.

Buyers often recite falling in love with a property, location and price as the big factors that will influence them, followed by future appreciation, personal freedom and stability as compelling reasons to buy.

Sellers appear to be driven more by the need to accommodate lifestyle changes; a growing or shrinking family, retirement or cashing out equity to travel, or help the kids buy a home.

The cycles are inter-woven with finances and lifestyle changes being the main common factors. In either case, it’s never simply black and white, and that’s one of the obvious reason real estate is always such popular BBQ talk.