Over the last several years, I have attended a ton of open houses and house tours here in Brooklyn. I have noticed that a lot of the potential homebuyers are single and female like myself. Because this homebuying process has been so competitive I have never really surveyed the competition to find out why they chose to buy a home alone. For me, I have always wanted to own something whether I was married or single. I have always had a strong desire to decorate my own home, just how I want without the approval from a parent, a roommate or a landlord. I have also been curious about female homebuying struggles such as dealing with mortgage approval, real estate agents, coop boards or just searching for a property in general.
Female homebuying is not an anomaly. However, at these open houses I’m still met with these “poor dear” looks from real estate agents. Especially among male real-estate agents. I have found real estate agents as a whole to be rather aggressive. Granted they do work off commission and of course they don’t want to waste time with a buyer who isn’t serious. Female real-estate agents have been more sympathetic. They will talk to you about stereotypical things like updating the kitchen and having enough space to entertain. On occasion, they will even offer design tips. Their male counterparts however are amazed that I, a single female, actually have a decent paying job that has allowed me to save at least 10% for a down payment. They will say things like, what do you do for a living? And quiet a few times I have been asked out on dates. It has happened often enough for me to wonder if this was a universal issue amongst female homebuyers.
Maybe my expectations are too high. But because I don’t currently have a real-estate agent, a open house has been more than looking at a home. I’m observing and interviewing real estate agents as well as part of this process. I need my agent to be knowledgeable and professional. However instead of being treated as a potential client, with male real estate agents, I feel rather dirty and cheap. It’s an icky feeling that tells me that I don’t need to be in a private space with this individual.