Millennials and baby boomers don’t always seem to have a lot in common. These two demographics are the difference between Uber Eats and Sunday dinner, Tesla and Oldsmobile, the latest iPhone and a landline.
But one place where these generations are inextricably tied together is the real estate market. Many boomers are a few years deep into retirement and realizing the home they raised their kids in is just a little too much space for them, while many millennials are finding their stride with professional jobs, growing families, and the need for more room.
All this translates to a lot of older Indy-area boomers putting their homes on the market to be considered by a lot of younger buyers.
With the influx of millennial homebuyers into the real estate market, it’s important to set yourself up for success by making sure your home is perfectly positioned for the next generation of homeowners. Here are five ways to make sure that’s the case.
1. Create an Open Concept Layout
When younger homebuyers think about the perfect family evening, they probably see everyone gathered around the kitchen island, or scattered across the living room, dining room, and sitting on the hearth of the fireplace, all within sight of one another. Gone are the days of small rooms closed off from each other; buyers want homes with an open and airy feeling that use natural light well and makes smaller spaces feel larger.
What you can do: Talk to a builder about which walls in your main living space are non-load bearing. Can you open up the kitchen to the rest of the home? How can you make your living space feel more open without adding more square footage?
2. Make Your Home Move-in Ready
If you don’t know how to fix a car, would you ever buy one that needed a lot of work? Probably not, and the same can be said for homes, especially when it comes to millennial homebuyers. Millennials have, on average, spent more times in apartments, condos, or places that have the maintenance and upkeep done for them than any other crop of homebuyers in the last 25 years, so offering a home for sale that requires some elbow grease to get into shape is an immediate disadvantage.
What you can do: Try getting a pre-listing inspection to get an idea of exactly what a buyer may find when they investigate your home, and fix the easy stuff before you even put your home on the market. Things like faulty electrical outlets, an errant sprinkler head, or trees that need trimming might seem like Saturday projects to you, but could be deal-breakers for a buyer with no fixer-upper experience.
3. Hire a Realtor Who Speaks “Millennial”
Want to talk to a millennial? Don’t call them on the phone. OK, you can call them, but make sure you give them a head’s up via text or social first. Just like every generation, millennials have their own specific ways of communicating; digitally, instantaneously, and usually employing some form of social media.
What you can do: Hire Corbett & Co to list your home. Some of us are millennials ourselves, and our team has worked hard to make sure we’re ready to communicate with anyone who has questions about your home. Don’t believe us? Follow us on Instagram, check us out online, or just text us! We promise we’ll get right back to you!
4. Professionally Stage Your Home
Selling a home can be an emotional experience, especially if some special memories have been made within the four walls you’re about to list for sale. Attached to all those memories are places and things: the dining room table where your kids did their homework, the couch where you had family movie night, the curtains that were in the background of each of your now-grown children’s prom photos.
While the furniture and decorations in your home have a lot of sentimental meaning to you, they don’t mean anything to your buyer. In fact, they may be hindrances. If the furniture or decorations in your home aren’t highlighting the optimal use of space, aren’t giving buyers (millennial or otherwise) a clear path towards picturing how they would use the space, then you’re missing out on some opportunities.
What you can do: Hire a professional stager to consult with you and give you advice for the best way to maximize your space, use your existing furniture and decor to appeal to buyers, and make suggestions for new pieces you can add to the presentation of your home to put buyers in the offer-writing mood.
5. Make Your Home Smarter and More Energy Efficient
Many millennials grew up in large houses built in the 1980s and 90s, watching their parents grapple with high utility bills, complicated mechanicals, and a ton of maintenance just to keep the lights on. But, thanks to modern technology and new energy efficiency standards, these struggles don’t have to be a part of new home ownership, and young homebuyers are looking for properties that offer new ways to cut costs.
What you can do: Start with some easy tech upgrades, like Google Home and Ring. For not a lot of money, you can make your home “smarter” than most of the other homes on the market. Then, reach out to your utility companies and ask what options they have for doing energy efficiency audits. Most utility providers offer free in-home audits to give consumers tips for how they can maximize their efficient energy use; providing tips from using better bulbs, to better window insulation to a new water heater. A copy of one of these audits, complete with a list of the things you’ve done to improve your home’s energy consumption would be a potent addition to your listing documents.
BONUS TIP: Hire Corbett & Co to Sell Your Home
Corbett & Co team members are experts at listing and selling property of any type. We’ve been working with property owners to sell their homes for the best price possible and with the best terms possible, and we can help you too. If you’ve got questions about selling a home, our team is here to help.
Looking to buy a home? We can help you, too. We know just what it takes to get you in the right home, at the right time, and within your budget. When it comes time for you to make your next (or first!) real estate purchase, trust the Corbett & Co team.