Newsflash to retiring boomers looking to sell their home: millennials account for 32 percent of real estate buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s why it’s essential to know what millennials want in homes—their values and desired lifestyles are very different than their boomer parents.
Millennials, perhaps more than boomers, have very specific criteria when choosing homes. Make your house fit their criteria and you will expand buyer interest, which means your home will sell faster and probably at a higher price.
What Boomers Wanted, What Millennials Want
Generally speaking, boomers who bought homes to start families purchased what their budgets allowed and fixed them up over time. But for millennial buyers, they are generally looking for the finished product and will pay for it. They want what they see in magazines—nothing less.
They don’t seem to view themselves living in any one place for a very long time, so there’s no time for gradually rolled out home improvements. So if you’re looking to sell your home to millennials, there are several key renovations you need to do before listing your house for sale.
Four Projects to Make Your Home Desirable
Open the kitchen to a family room and combine them into one space.
Millennials want kitchens that are great places to hang out with everyone while cooking. Even if the removal of a wall creates fewer cabinets and, in your mind, reduces the functionality of the kitchen, the added space will increase the desirability of your home.
If it’s possible, give your kitchen a center island with room for stools. Like an open kitchen-living room, it appeals to millennials who are looking for a nice social space.
Make sure your home has WiFi access.
With their jobs and social lives demanding more and more online use, millennials need the ability to use their smartphones and tablets everywhere. So make your home can be easily equipped with WiFi and have a good signal. If your home can’t gt a good signal, install WiFi boosters. A faltering signal or lack thereof can be a deal breaker for millennials.
Fill your home with eco-friendly materials.
Boomers taught millennials that recycling was a big “green” idea. Millennials take this a giant step further, viewing themselves as members of the planet. Consequently, eco-friendly materials and lifestyle choices are a part of millennial DNA.
Fast-grown materials like bamboo in flooring and wood with FSC (Forestry Stewardship Certification) in kitchen and bath cabinets are important considerations, and thus clear selling points. Energy efficient heating and cooling is also a must.
Make sure your house is healthy for its inhabitants and visitors.
Millennials are very health-conscious and don’t want to live in a house that can potentially lead to health problems. They want to see health-focused home improvements such as:
- No-VOC off-gassing from paint
- Mold and fungus free basements
- Good air quality
Millennials also tend to prefer wood flooring over carpet because carpet can look dirty and cause some people’s allergies to flare up. No one wants to live in a home where they’re always sneezing!
Home Location and Size
Home improvements aside, there are two other things you should know about millennial buyers that you can’t do much about:
Millennials want more walkability & less driving.
Accessibility to an urban center will figure into the pricing of your home. Millennials want to be in walking distance or minutes from town. Being out in the boonies and spending lots of time driving is not appealing to them. If your house isn’t near a city, discuss with your listing broker how best to offset this negative point. Unlike boomers, who often opted for more property in exchange for slightly more remote locales, millennials will accept smaller lots just to be near the city.
Millennials prefer efficient, smaller spaces
A large house may be a turn-off to millennials. The “bigger the better” mansion-sized homes were status symbols for super-successful boomers, but that concept is now antithetical to millennials, no matter how successful they are. Many of them reject size over efficient use of space.
As a real estate broker, I frequently hear statements from millennial buyers like: “I don’t want to be in separate parts of the house and never see my family.” For them, compact, well-designed “open concept” and “connected” floor plans are the order of the day.
In real estate, “good luck” is generally created and every seller can improve the selling value of his or her home. A bit of good planning based on key trends and the right upgrades can position your home for the broadest audience.