When it comes to selling your home, you may think a buyer is a buyer. Not necessarily.
According to the National Association of Realtors® 2017 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, the Millennials, also known as Generation Y, at age 36 years and younger, now make up the largest block of home buyers: 34 percent. There are more than 75.3 million of them and in spite of tight credit, student loan debt, and unemployment, they are entering the home buying market in droves.
But unlike previous generations of buyers, Millennials aren’t finding property by driving around looking for For Sale signs. And while they are using the services of real estate agents, they are doing a lot of homework before they ever talk to a professional.
Here are a few things to know if you’re trying to reach the Millennial market:
- Most of them—66 percent—are first-time buyers.
- Many of these buyers are moving from apartments or their parents’ homes, so they are not as skilled in imagining what their home could look like and how various rooms could be used (for example, a spare bedroom doubling as an office or gym). Simple, effective staging can be extremely helpful.
- About 46 percent of Millennials are carrying student debt with a median amount of $25,000. That means price is important and these buyers are more willing to consider properties in foreclosure as well as smaller or older homes in good condition.
- Millennials are looking for homes that won’t require a lot of cash for repairs. In fact, 48 percent bought new homes just to avoid renovations.
- Ninety-eight percent of Millennial buyers will finance their purchase.
- Commuting access, distance, and cost are important. These buyers will be working for a long time.
- In addition to real estate websites, social media is essential to reaching this audience and within the social media sphere, photographs and videos are critical. The more social media platforms the better; the more photos the better: every room, inside and outside. (A recent article in Forbes suggests that virtual reality will be the newest trend in reaching this population of buyers.)
- Millennials like to spend time outside, so the patio/lawn/deck/garden can be staged as well as the indoor spaces.
- Millennials appreciate environmentally-friendly features—xeriscaping, solar, etc.—and smart home technology, so be sure to emphasize those in your home descriptions.
Millennials are solidly planted in the real estate market and they will be wielding their influence for years to come. For home sellers, working with a Millennial-savvy real estate agent makes a lot of sense.
And when it comes to financing, the loan officers at Sente Mortgage understand the financial pressures on this generation of buyers. We know the challenges of saving for a down payment, stretching a budget, and planning for personal and fiscal security. We can make loans happen—for Millennials and for every generation.