According to the National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, Millennials now make up the largest generation of home buyers in the market. That’s right, 37 percent of the buyer pool this year is predicted to be made up of Millennials, those born between the years of 1980 and and 1998. NAR did break them down further into sub-categories as well of older and younger millennials. The older millennials (1980-1989) are to make up 26 percent of the buyer pool in 2019 while their younger counterpart (1990-1998) will make up 11 percent.
So what does this mean for a home seller? It actually has several implications. Here are a few things millennial buyers are looking for:
Environmentally friendly homes: Millennials have been brought up in a much more environmentally friendly world, and therefore they expect the same in their future home. Things like proper insulation, energy efficient appliances, energy audits, and the like are very important to this new generation of home buyers. Therefore, if your home is for sale and offers outdated appliances or antiquated heating and cooling which offer no energy savings, it may be time to consider upgrading in order to compete in today’s market. In a nutshell, the more “green” your home is, the more “green” in your pocket when your home sells.
Move in ready: This is a real estate term that is way overused in my opinion, and I am guilty of it as well. The reason this phrase has a lot of traction in real estate narratives is because Millennial buyers want turn key. They are the generation of HGTV and Amazon where everything is beautiful and at their fingertips. This explains why taking on deferred maintenance is the last thing that most Millennial buyers would like to do. They would prefer a home look like the reveal on an HGTV show, not the before. And they are willing to pay more for it due to the current low interest rates. Just how much more is a question for your local Realtor, but turn-key and move in ready shouldn’t just be a catch phrase for a seller’s listing, but rather a way of life in order to compete.
Walkability: Proximity to amenities and other community offerings (the Prairie Village shops is a good example) is very important to Millennial home buyers. Their home is part of their active and often healthier life style. If they can walk or ride their bike to the Hen House versus driving, then they would often choose the former. This goes hand in hand with the focus on being environmentally friendly from the first point. Of course, a home seller cannot pick their home up and give it better walkability, but if you did purchase a home with great proximity to amenities, then you have that working for you and should lean on that fact to help attract your home buyer.
Representation: This one probably has the most effect on home sellers who choose to try the FSBO route. Millennials are the most represented cross section of the buyer pool when it comes to having a Realtor on their side. According to NAR, 92 percent of Millennials choose to be represented by a licensed Realtors. Therefore, if you are rolling the dice as a FSBO, the odds of you not paying at least the buyer’s agent’s commission just shrunk to 8 percent. In addition, we find that Millennials will perform almost all home inspections that are available to them. In the era information at your fingertips, the more info the better with this group. So home sellers, brace yourselves. The home inspection process may be more detailed and lengthy than your remember from when you purchased your home.