Chances are, if you are getting ready to sell your home after 20 or 30 years of enjoying it, your buyers will be a different generation, and they may have different priorities than you did when choosing your last home. A recent study by the National Association of Realtors® identified important updates and information about a home, yard, and neighborhood that appeal to younger buyers, and your Realtor® should be marketing effectively to those buyers. Before you begin fixing up your home, learn about what is important to buyers today, and what improvements and amenities mean the most to them. Some of those amenities, like nearby parks, libraries, schools, and public transportation cost you nothing, but make your home very attractive to young buyers! And make sure your real estate professional is marketing those attractive selling points, and doing it online where most buyers are now looking for their next home.
Housing habits by generation
A recent study by the National Association of REALTORS® has implications for you, especially if you’re thinking about selling your house, condo or townhouse.
NAR looked at generational differences among home buyers and home sellers in its July 2013 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends.
At first glance, the data seem geared to real estate professionals. But you, too, can glean some insight, which could be especially valuable as you prepare to put your house on the market.
For example, if you’ve been in your house for decades, odds are that that your buyer will be younger than you are. And such buyers have certain habits and expectations that you can learn about in the study.
The knowledge can also help you to better partner with your real estate practitioner and work with him or her to be certain that your home’s most desirable features are marketed in a way that reaches the widest pool of buyers.
Here are five key points you can take from the NAR study.
1. Timeline. How long it takes to sell a house depends on a host of issues specific to your market. But as you start planning your own move, the study gives you a feel for how much time it could require to sell your property.
One chart, “Number of Weeks Recently Sold Home Was on the Market,” shows that on the low end of the timeframe, houses spent less than one week on the market for 4% of all sellers. At the longer end, 9% of sellers reported that their house was on the market for 53 weeks or more.
Use the figures as a guide and prepare your moving timeline accordingly.
2. Online marketing strategy. When you’re interviewing practitioners, ask them how and where they’ll be marketing your property, keeping in mind just how buyers conduct home searches these days.
For instance, 90% of all buyers looked to the Internet for information during their home search. And among those aged 32 and younger and those aged 33 to 47, that figure was 96%.
3. Green features. Increasingly, buyers are paying attention to green features and home operating costs.
As you prepare your house for sale and make upgrades, keep in mind that 39% of all buyers said heating and cooling costs were very important to them and that 24 percent looked at energy efficient appliances and lighting.
So upgrades that reduce buyers’ monthly bills could help your house to stand out. If you’ve already made environmentally friendly changes, be certain that your marketing materials reflect those features and show the cost savings that the strategies yield.
4. Beyond the yard. Talk with your real estate practitioner about the conveniences beyond the confines of the house.
Among the features buyers value include access to parks and recreation, convenience to healthcare facilities, green and environmentally-friendly community features, and access to public transportation and the airport.
Since 43% those aged 32 and younger cited commuting costs as very important to them, any nearby train stations, subway stops, and bus routes would be terrific benefits to promote.
5. Incentives. If you’re willing to offer incentives to push buyers off the fence, consider some of the more popular enticements, including home warranty policies, assistance with closing costs and credit toward remodeling or repairs.
And though the survey was based on the U.S. real estate market, much of the insight likely applies to Canadian buyers too, particularly when you’re chasing after younger buyers.
After all, buyers in the Gen Y generation (those born between 1980 and 2000) and the Gen X generation (those born between 1965 and 1979) in both the U.S. and Canada likely share some similar characteristics, such as a desire to save on energy bills and easy access to transportation and entertainment. In addition, you can count on all of them to look to the Internet for information during their property searches. Talk to your real estate practitioner about just how the insight applies to the marketing of your Canadian home.