You may have heard about the most recent trend in the real estate industry: the Millennial generation is shunning it altogether. That’s right, the percentage of Millennials who are purchasing houses is now lower by around 8 percent than the generations above them. Owning a house used to be one of the top ways that individuals would demonstrate that they were moving up in life, both financially and personally. A house meant a bigger bank account and a growing family. A house with land was the ultimate symbol of the American dream. So, are Millennials abandoning the American dream once and for all?
Factors at play
When considering why Millennials are taking a step back from home ownership, it’s important to consider the greater context. These trends in real estate aren’t a fluke. There’s often a greater indicator if you look at the economy. Let’s take a look at what factors could be causing this development.
The rising cost of college education is nothing to scoff at. While you may think that student loans are just an unfortunate side effect of getting an education, it turns out that it’s having a real impact on the rest of the economy. Due to the fact that 68 percent of bachelor’s degree recipients took on student loans in order to complete their degree, it’s safe to say that this is having a real impact on the economy. Not only that, but the loans themselves aren’t small either. These aren’t just loans for books. The average amount borrowed was $30,100. That’s equivalent to a down payment on a nice house in quite a few states. Student loans are setting Millennials back when they look at both their timeline and house buying ability.
After the 2008 financial crisis, you were lucky if you had a job. With workers (old and new) losing their jobs left and right, college grads who took on student loans to complete their degree were scrambling to find any position that would help them pay back their debt. Even now, up to 40 percent of college graduates don’t have positions that even require the degree that they worked so hard to earn. Worse—some are faced with unemployment. Joblessness and unemployment prompt people to burn through their savings, and without savings, you’re not buying a house anytime soon.
With student loans and joblessness in play, Millennials are playing it cool. While it’s responsible to delay getting hitched until you’re financially stable, that also means that they’re unlikely to move into a home in the meantime. In essence, the increase in student loans and the state of the economy has caused a domino effect. Home ownership is more common amongst married couples, which makes sense given that those two individuals are more likely to have a dual-income or look to grow their family. For the time being, Millennials are happy renting and living in apartments.
How to sell your home in this market
Alright, so now that you know what’s really going on with the Millennial generation’s real estate habits, you might start to get nervous and wonder…will I ever sell my home? The answer is yes! Don’t worry. They won’t evade home ownership forever. For now, they’ve just got a lot going on and they’re doing the best they can with their situation. Now, in the meantime, there are some tips and tricks you can use to sell your home (even in this market). Here’s how to target Millennials.
Especially if you’ll list your home for sale soon or do for sale by owner, you’ll want to make sure you’re knowledgeable about what Millennials want and need. It makes sense that if a home is a larger financial commitment for them, Millennials will be incredibly picky before settling down. Spotlight the following qualities if you’re looking for a Millennial buyer.
The trends demonstrate that the Millennials who are currently purchasing houses are going for the suburbs. About 75 percent of Millennials opted to be in the suburbs rather than in an urban location. Small towns for the win. If you’re in a suburb, start playing up the great aspects of your town. During the house hunting process, millennials aren’t overlooking what suburbs have to offer (like benefits for growing families and jobs!).
If you grew up in the Midwest, you know it’s the best! The Midwest is now a popular spot for Millennials because it’s so affordable. Some of the best cities right now are ones you’d never ever think of like Raleigh, North Carolina and Columbus, Ohio. Perhaps everyone dreams of moving to New York, Los Angeles or Miami when they’re young, but that’s not where they’re actually going when it comes time to buy a house. If you’ve got a Midwest house on the market, you can play this up to Millennial buyers no problem.
Alright, so think this one through. Millennials are delaying purchasing houses until they’re married. They do this when they’re financially stable and when they want to expand their family. Expanding a family means kids and kids means schools. This means that when Millennials finally go to buy a house, they’re going to be looking at school districts (whether or not they actually have kids at the time). If adding little ones to the household is part of the plan at any point in time, they’ll want to make sure the area is conducive to sending their children to the best schools around. If you live in an area that’s known for top public, charter or private schools, be sure to play that up when you’re selling. It’s especially important to Millennials and will help you demonstrate the value of your home’s area.
You might be a little biased and think that your home is full of great features, but it isn’t what you think is great that matters. It’s what Millennials think is great. What sells to Millennials? Upgraded kitchens, homes with local parks and outdoor recreation areas, smart technology built into the home, and energy efficient features. These get Millennials to buy faster than anything else.
What should you not spend your money on before listing your home for sale? Don’t add new carpet, redo your landscaping, paint or remodel your bathrooms. While you can spruce up, stage or add some curb appeal, these are areas that Millennials are likely to redo on their own anyway because they have their own preferences. Throw in that carpeting bonus and allow them to choose new carpets as part of the sale price if you think your current carpets will hinder your ability to get a buyer. Knowing this trick will help you pull in Millennials every time.
Selling without a Realtor
Selling without a Realtor may feel tricky, but there are so many reasons to do it. You cut out the costs of a middleman and save on commission, so you can put it directly towards your next housing purchase. Before you put your home up for sale by owner, you’ll want to look at these tips and tricks so that you maximize your likelihood of success.
The research portion of listing your home for sale without the help of a Realtor can’t be emphasized enough. Based on everything you read above about what Millennials buyers like and how you can attract them, being knowledgeable about your home and what sells is crucial to being successful. The owners who do their research about their homes and what’s desirable will be more successful every single time.
When listing your home for sale, be sure to list it for a realistic price. You can use a variety of online resources such as Zillow and Trulia for this portion of the process. Selling for a realistic price will help cut down the amount of time that your home is on the market. Finding the sweet spot will help you find a buyer quickly without shorting yourself.
Gone are the days where the “For Sale” sign in your yard will do the work for you. When you’re listing your home for sale by owner, you need to make sure you do the advertising as well. List your home on the website FSBO.com, ForSaleByOwner.com, Patch, StreetEasy or more that may be in your area. While some of these websites come with fees, wouldn’t you rather have your home sell with a few hundred fewer dollars in your pocket than have it sitting on the market still? Time is money after all!
Finally, when selling without a Realtor, the final tip is to be patient. This will feel difficult as days crawl by with no progress, but sometimes the process doesn’t happen overnight. Remember, a house that’s only on the market for a month, two months, three months, is a success story. You’re not doing anything wrong and shouldn’t take it personally if it takes a little bit of time. Keep the faith and utilize all of the information above to your benefit!
While the Millennial generation may not be chomping at the bit to buy a house, it doesn’t mean that you can’t sell yours. We know the process seems overwhelming and the more you learn, the more you feel like it might be nice to get some help. Luckily, you can! As a flat-fee MLS listing service in Utah, we help people sell their homes without the help of a realtor. If you want to sell your home and save thousands, give us a call at (801) 899-9102 or visit our website Intermountain Properties.