Right out of the gate, January is cranking. Here’s why – a lot of buyers are seeing that interest rates are starting to tick up and a market drop is nowhere in sight.  Buyers want in.  The average age of a buyer in today’s market is 36 years old. Hold on tight, they make up roughly 34% of all home buyers and like Boomers before them, they shape markets with their behavior.  If you’re a seller in today’s market, be aware that their desires help to determine price.

Millennials grew up when Google became a verb and it put a world of information at their fingertips and even evolved our opposable thumbs to text and use electronic tablets.  They’re used to researching.  They were the last generation to be born in the 20th century.  While student loans tend to hamper their ability to scrape together a down payment and in some cases, to qualify for the loan they want, they are buying homes.  Though because they don’t have a lot of extra cash, they want the home they buy to be fully updated and move-in ready.

The suburbs still hold sway with Millennials with roughly 50% opting for the burbs and a quarter choosing urban areas.  Commute times factor into decision making when buying homes and here in Sacramento, we’re starting to see an uptick in traffic congestion especially during the day. So why should you care if you’re a Seller? Besides being a sizable demographic, 66% of them plan to purchase a home within the next 5 years.  So understand that they are the likely next buyers of your home if you’re selling.  They have some definite ideas about what they want (and look, this list is NOT just limited to Millennials).  The pervasiveness of Pinterest, Houzz, and HGTV drives style trends.  If your Realtor doesn’t use professional photography, your house will pale in comparison next to the stimulating array of digital eye candy that today’s online experience provides the informed shopper. The top of the wish lists for Millennials are:

  • Updated kitchens and bathrooms
  • Stainless appliances
  • Open floor plans
  • Hard surface flooring in at least the common areas
  • Large master with en suite (adjoining) bathroom
  • Home office
  • Good location: good school districts, easy commutes, desirable neighborhoods.
  • Good reception for internet and cell service. It’s interesting how many homes I’ve been in where my cell service drops to 1 bar.  I’m not the only one who notices…

Smart Investments Pay Off A tech savvy agent is going to be able to help you see the trends and help you correct any less desirable features so that your property stands out online because after all, your home is entering a beauty contest and there are many homes competing for the prize.  A home that checks off all the boxes of desirability is going to collect multiple offers almost instantaneously.  However, it’s unlikely that a full kitchen remodel will recoup the investment, but there are affordable options that make an impact.  Granite counters are one.  New cabinet hardware is another very affordable option.  Painted cabinets or banisters may be an inexpensive upgrade that makes a major impact, but not all upgrades net you the most money.  Despite the fact that a new HVAC system will be appreciated during a scorching August day or a rainy winter day, buyers won’t value it as highly as some of the visual upgrades you make.Marketing Matters Don’t underestimate the importance of the guidance from a Professional Realtor to prepare your home for sale and to position your property to stand out from the rest.  According to the National Association of Realtors, 88% of buyers use the internet to search for homes. Then they will often visit an open house or drive by the home to see the neighborhood.  Your home’s visual performance, the expert marketing, and the condition will help you net the highest price in today’s competitive landscape.  Understand that just because there is limited inventory doesn’t mean that an outdated home will command the same pricing as a fully remodeled home. Call me when you’d like a professional opinion.  I’d love to show you what your options might be.

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