Thinking of selling your home this spring or summer? So much has changed over the last few years when it comes to home shopping. Here's what you need to know when selling to this new generation of buyers.
Millennials have busy schedules
It's been our experience that many millennial buyers work very long hours and find it difficult to schedule time to physically look for houses. When they do have time off, they prefer to spend time with friends or family. Shopping or browsing online is there preferred method of home shopping and sending listings to their agent to ask for his/her opinion. In today's market, there is limited inventory and many buyers miss great opportunities to buy, because they aren't making home buying a priority. What does that mean for you as a seller? Make your home as appealing as possible, ensuring your home is tidy and or staged, as well as hire a professional photographer to shoot your house. As your agents, we do that for you and include video. If there is only one photo or a bunch of bad photos, the millennial buyer will swipe left and move onto the next one.
First-time buyer now vs. 30 years ago
To be able to buy a home in Southern California is quite the accomplishment, but it comes with great financial stress to the home buyers of today. If you think about what a single family home costs today, what we would consider a starter home start at around $1M in the Culver City area. Buyers today aren't looking for a home to buy and plan to live in it for 30 years, as many of our parents did years ago. The biggest task is to buy a home to not have to waste money on rent, have some sort of a tax write off, and plan on living in the house for less than ten years. After that, they will use the proceeds from their first home to"upgrade".
Move in ready is top priority
Because millennials are working more than the buyer 30 years ago, they can't phathom the idea of remodeling a kitchen or bathroom. It isn't that they don't have the vision, it's that the project is too much for them to take on with their busy lifestyle. All of these HGTV shows teach people how to remodel, but it's good in theory. They want open concepts that work well for entertaining their friends. Remodeled kitchen with upgraded appliances are much appreciated! If a kitchen is remodeled and to their liking, they are willing to compromise other aspects of the home.
Financing the downpayment
Many millennials were forced to move back in with family after college or had several roommates to make ends meet. With housing prices being as high as they are, many buyers are looking to their family to assist with down payments out of necessity. Without the help of family, many wouldn't be able to afford to live here and accomplish the dream of homeownership. This means that another person is very invested in the purchase or your home. It is very much a sellers market right now, so you hold the cards to the negotiations. Buyers are having to make more and more concessions just to get a house. This year will be the year of low inventory and multiple offers!
The gist of it really boils down to the fact that there is a growing mismatch between an abundance of high-price inventory on the market and increasing demand for starter homes. Millennials buyers work off of strict budgets for the most part and the prices do make them hesitant. They have no issue with waiting out the market to see what happens in a year or two from now. If they have a good deal on the rental they are in now, they will hold tight to it and not move until the right opportunity comes along.