Would a “millennial” buy your home? As the largest generational group of homebuyers now and for the foreseeable future, odds are that a millennial buyer will be the demographic you’re selling to. Here’s what you need to know about millennials, and how to effectively sell to them.  


Who are they and why should you care?   


Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the generational group born between 1981 and 1996 (turning 23-38 years old in 2019). Making up ¼ of the total US population, millennials are officially the largest living generation. As the majority cohort of the group will turn 30 in 2019, they are also the largest generational group of homebuyers making up 36% of all homebuyers in 2018. Whether you’re selling your home today, or any time in the future, the buying trends of this group simply cannot be ignored.  


Let’s take a closer look some of the key characteristics of this group. While the older millennials can remember childhood without technology, this group as a whole was the first generation to grow up with computers, cell phones, and internet as a part of daily life, and are more likely to be early adopters of new technology. However, with so much information at their fingertips, millennials still tend to look to peer networks for information and opinions. They also grew up during the Great Recession, with some even graduating college and entering the workforce with high student loan debt at a period of high unemployment. Student loan debt is another characteristic that shapes the way this group spends and manages money. 24% of millennial buyers said that saving for a down payment was the most difficult step to buying a home. 53% of millennial households already have children, and are more likely to divide parenting roles as an equal partnership.   


What do they want and how can you give it to them?   


65% of millennial buyers in the market are buying their first home. Typically, “first time home buyers” will remain in their home for about 5 to 7 years. For this segment, they are looking for a place that can meet their needs during a transitional stage in their life- whether they expect to get married, start a family, grow their career and gain financial stability, a home for this group should be affordable and efficient with some room to grow. Staging your space to show different uses (such as a formal dining area turned home office) may increase the appeal of your home. Another significant portion of the millennial home buyers are “move up buyers” looking for a home that will meet their needs long term. In our current local market, buyers in this category are most commonly looking for a single family detached home with 3-4 or more bedrooms and place a high value on neighborhood safety and school district ratings.  


Millennial buyers as a whole put a high priority on quality of neighborhood when choosing where to settle down. They want a community that aligns with their interests and lifestyle. Try defining your neighborhood vibe by offering local insight- What are the most popular local places to eat and shop? Are there any seasonal events or community traditions? What is located within a walkable distance? Is public transportation located nearby? Work with your agent to articulate the unique features of your neighborhood while staying within Fair Housing guidelines.   


Inside the home, millennials tend to prefer a move-in ready home rather than a fixer upper, and are willing to compromise on other features such as size to get something new or updated. If a home renovation or big-ticket upgrades aren’t in the cards, try smaller updates like a fresh coat of paint in neutral colors, new light fixtures and updated cabinet hardware. Any features that improve day-to-day quality of life or convenience can also add value- think energy efficient appliances, maximized storage and work space, low maintenance landscaping, smart home technology… Just keep in mind with any updates that you’ll want to stay in proportion with comparable market value. Consult with your local real estate agent if you’re unsure of what upgrades are a smart investment for your home.   



How can you effectively market your listing to millennial buyers?   


So, you’ve maximized your home’s appeal to millennial buyers- now it’s time to get your listing in front of them. 99% of millennial home buyers utilized online websites to search for a home, and 82% used a tablet or mobile device. One way to showcase your listing online is through a single property website. A single property website is a web page that features only your home through a combination of photos, video, aerial footage, interactive virtual tours, clickable school and area links, and all the facts and features. Millennials want information, and they want it fast- the more intuitive and visually pleasing the format is, the better impression you’ll make. This “one stop” link ensures that they are getting full information about the property, and area, and have the ability to go direct to the source (your listing agent) with inquiries. Ask your agent whether they offer a single property website for your home, what type of content it will feature, and whether it will be compatible with mobile devices. For an example of “The Kristin Ciarmella Group” single property websites, visit 55RampartEast.com or 403YankeeCourt.com.   


With technology, buyers can conduct their home search at any time, from anywhere. In our current local market, homes are moving quickly due to low inventory and high demand. For these reasons, it’s important to be accessible and flexible as much as reasonably possible. Ask your real estate agent what their accessibility is throughout business hours, evenings, and weekends, and ensure that they are able to respond quickly to requests for more information. You will also want to discuss up front any times that your home is not available to show, and how much notice you will require.    


By following these simple suggestions and working with your real estate professional, you can ensure that your home is competitive with others on the market, ideally resulting in a successful sale. If you have any questions, or are ready for more suggestions and insight on how to effectively prepare and market your home for sale, please reach out to The “Kristin Ciarmella Group”, Long and Foster Real Estate at Kristin@SellwithKristin.com. We’d love the opportunity to assist you!     



Statistics taken from the 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report by the National Association of REALTORS®, and www.MillennialMarketing.com. 

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.