Numbering around 80 million, Millennials now represent the fastest-growing generation of consumers in North America.
Statistics tell us that those born between 1980 and 2000 are a tough sell – being location-unaffiliated and cash poor means they’ve been written off as a generation of renters. But don’t be fooled: young people are more eager to get on the property ladder than you might think. In fact, Millennials now account for one in three home buyers. That figure is set to explode as we edge into the next decade.
What is true, is that Millennials have different attitudes about home buying than any other generation of home buyer. So, while a Generation Xer might value stability and look for a home they can live in for a decade or more before moving, Millennials are primarily looking for an economical property close to the center of town.
Making your selling strategy fit the Millennial’s criteria will expand buyer interest, which means your home will sell faster and probably at a higher price. Here are some tips to help you appeal to this highly educated, tech-savvy generation.
1. Make Your Home Move-in Ready
Previous generations of home buyers purchased whatever their budget allowed and fixed their property up over time. Millennials, by contrast, want the finished product at closing. They shift jobs and locations far more frequently than their parents’ generation so there’s no time for rolled out home improvements. So if you are looking to entice the Millennial audience, you have to deliver a move-in ready home that looks like it has tumbled off a magazine cover. Chic staging is critical if you are to meet, or exceed, Millennial expectations.
2. Get Sociable
Young buyers are sociable creatures and most of them want a space where people can gather, mingle and socialize. Overall, they are more attracted to open floor concepts than a layout that compartmentalizes the home. Some of the renovations you might consider include knocking down walls to provide an open concept cooking/living/dining space and outdoor decks for entertaining.
3. Make sure your home has WiFi access
Millennials grew up with technology and expect to use their smartphones and tablets everywhere. They are unlikely to favor a home that cannot easily be equipped with Wi-Fi or has a poor signal. If you’re having trouble getting a solid, reliable signal, invest in a booster, repeater or extender to improve Wi-Fi coverage.
4. Transact Through Technology
Millennials rely on technology to stay informed, communicate and make purchasing decisions, and they expect to use those technologies when they view homes and make an offer. When choosing an agent, make sure they are up to date with the latest mobile apps, virtual tours and e-signature technologies – and be prepared to move fast. Millennials work on Internet time, so make sure your agent can respond to their queries in no more than one day.
5. Install Eco-friendly Features
Millennials are a responsible generation with a collective social consciousness. Green lifestyle choices are a part of their DNA, and not embracing the move towards sustainability could be a deal breaker for some younger buyers.
If you home falls short of the latest environmental standards, it may be worth boosting your home’s green credentials with a cost-effective retrofit. Energy-efficient heating, cooling and insulation are a selling point, or you could include sustainable materials such as bamboo into your flooring or kitchen cabinets.
6. Sell the Integrated Lifestyle
Millennials don’t just strive for work-life balance, they expect total work-life integration. That means having home, work and play right on the doorstep. This is good news if you are selling a home in an urban, mixed-use environment where residents can access all the amenities without having to get in a car.
If your home is not near to a major urban center, discuss with your real estate agent how best to offset its low walking score.
7. Be Transparent with the Facts
Millennials are incredibly well educated. Over 30 percent of them hold a bachelor’s degree, compared to just 24 percent of Baby Boomers. The result is that they will ask more questions and want to comparison shop before purchasing a home. Since every data point can be verified with an Internet search, it pays to be completely truthful with the information you are presenting. Millennials will know when you’re winging it and if they feel you are hiding something, they likely will pass on your property.
The bottom line is, selling to Millennials is not complicated as long as you sell your home on their terms. Open up the kitchen, fix up any problems and hire a digital-savvy agent, and you are likely to get the most bang for your buck when you market your home to the younger crowd.
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