Police have released an image of a man they want to speak to in connection with the incident on Easterly Avenue, Gipton, on June 29.
They said the man approached the householder at around 7pm and asked if she needed her windows cleaning.
She declined, but allowed the man into her house after he asked for a drink of water.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: "A purse was taken from the property and the suspect left on foot."
Witnesses are asked to call Leeds CID on 101.