Much has been written this year about the very welcome return of the first time buyer and it has been a key component of the 2015 real estate success story.
This is such great news for many sellers, whose homes fall into the most likely categories that will appeal to first time buyers.
Naturally enough, the vast majority of rookie home buyers will be younger people, including the group of people widely known as millennials - folks who reached young adulthood around the year 2000.
It's important, therefore, for sellers to gain a better understanding of the likely buying needs and motivations of the first timer and here are some great tips to make your home as appealing to this group as possible:
Updated kitchens and bathrooms - Always a plus in any home sale, these upgrades are even more vital for first time buyers, as they are likely to lack the budget to make those updates themselves. Obviously if your home needs extensive remodeling in this area then you may need to consider the economics, but making cost effective upgrades like changing shower curtains and/or installing better shower heads and sink faucets etc., plus general redecorating, will pay dividends.
Accentuate your open floor plan - Modern lifestyles often mean that formal dining rooms are less important than a flowing floorplan, especially in and around kitchens. You should therefore bear this in mind and ensure that, if your home lends itself to being open and flowing, you don't have lots of furniture and other stuff crowding these areas.
Office space - With millions of Americans working from home these days, especially the more tech savvy younger generations of adults, making sure that you have office space in a spare room or empty area of a room is growing in importance. A key additional requirement will therefore be good built-in internet access.
The need for low maintenance - One of the generational divides seems to be that younger adults don't want to spend their weekends decorating and doing other DIY chores. Wood floors and granite countertops, and gravel yards, tend to work well here. A recently redecorated home also wins points with this group of buyers, as they can possibly see themselves moving home again before the need for lots of decorating becomes essential.
Modern furnishings and decor - When staging your home for presentation to young potential buyers, dated furnishings and decor can be counter-productive, as they erode the affinity young buyers will have with your property. Statistics show that few buyers can look beyond how a room is presented and envisage what it could be. Contemporary accents should therefore be, well, accentuated.
Energy efficiency - Again, this would be of interest to any home buyer, but the more energy efficient your home is, the better it appeals to budget-constrained first time buyers, who will find your low energy bills to be a big buying incentive. It's also broadly true that younger adults are more environment conscious and therefore have green benefits, such as reduced dependence on fossil fuels, much nearer the top of their wish lists. The simple advice, therefore, is that the more energy efficient you can make your home, the better.
The importance of good photography - We never stop emphasizing the critical importance of good photos in the home selling process. That's a golden rule that applies to anyone, but consider how much more important it is when you're likely to be selling to tech-savvy young adults who will extensively use the internet to find homes they'd like to view. At Everest Peak Realty we also regularly use video to promote our listings, which is arguably an even more potent selling weapon when appealing to people who practically live on their mobiles and laptops.
Benefits of the location - You can't move your home, of course, so in some senses your location is what it is. Nonetheless, it's worth doing your homework on local access to things that might appeal to young adults, such as local sports and leisure amenities and travelling times to local work centers. Remember that these are adults who have grown up with fuel costs being a major consideration in their lives, so distance matters, as indeed does local public transport access. Make sure you provide your realtor with as much of this kind of information as possible, as it's invaluable selling material.
We hope these simple tips help your understanding of the needs of rookie buyers. Call us today for more specific advice related to your own home.