We've just read a very interesting Forbes article concerning the continuing prominence of millennials (36 years and younger) as home buyers.
The report quoted the National Association of REALTORS® 2017 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, which says that, for the fourth consecutive year, millennials are the largest group of home buyers and that almost 40% of home buyers were under 36 years old.
While we could write a whole blog on why millennials are so crucial to the current real estate scene, today we'd like to focus on some of the things that are most important to this sector when buying a home. The key aim is to help you identify if your home has the kind of qualities that generally appeal to the younger buyer.
Time Poverty - Millennials are usually people in a hurry. They live hectic lifestyles and often work very long hours. Lack of time is therefore a key driver in their home buying process. Essentially this means that they want to move in fast and are looking for a turnkey property that doesn't need a lot of remodeling work. If you are an older seller, this may well contrast with your own initial house purchase experience, when you might have settled for a "fixer upper" and spent every spare moment bringing it up to a decent specification. Put quite simply, most millennials don't have enough time to do this. Their overall time poverty also extends to the times of the day when they are able to view a home, to fit around work and other unavoidable commitments. Be as flexible as you can with when you can accept viewers and you'll be well on the way to striking up some useful initial empathy.
Visuals Are Key - Millennials live on their phones and other mobile devices and consequently browse shop for almost everything they need. It follows, therefore, that they will deploy their retail habits when they look for a home. This means that crisp professional photography is paramount to get their attention before they click on the next option. It also means that your agent's website should work like this one does, being designed in such a way that it converts to being mobile friendly on appropriate devices (ask your agent if the site is "responsive"). And when it comes to viewing your home, a reasonably modern approach to staging pays dividends.
Location, Location, Location - If, let's say, you're a member of the baby boomer generation, your attitude to home purchase was probably very different from what the younger set now prioritizes. These days home location is usually all about nearby access to key facilities, including vibrant urban neighborhoods and, ideally, good proximity to public transport services. Whereas you might have thought an out of town location with lots of land was ideal when you were first buying, these days those attributes are just not as well prized by millennials.
Snooze, You Might Lose - As we indicated earlier, quick results are everything to a generation that has grown up expecting instant answers at the touch of a keypad or a mouse click. Therefore try to be very responsive when an offer comes in and don't assume that millennial buyers will be universally prepared to allow you to take your time making a decision or answering any queries they may have. There's quite a risk they will decide to team up with a more responsive seller.
Adjusting To The Millennial Mindset - Although some aspects of selling a home are universal, we hope that the above points have shown that millennials have a special set of needs and have different buying triggers to previous generations of young buyers. It's a fast moving world and that's how millennials live. Taking reasonable steps to accommodate this mindset will unquestionably pay dividends if your home feature set closely matches the general criteria that millennials value most.
Don't feel that you're alone in this process, however. We have a wealth of experience of selling homes to millennials and would be pleased to provide specific advice in this area, or any other aspect of real estate. Why not contact us today!