Millennials, people born between 1980 and 2000, are the largest generation since the Baby Boomers. They are very different from their parents in some interesting ways.
Here's how Millennials will change the housing market and how sellers can benefit from these changes:
1. They are really smart - Unlike their parents at the same age, Millennials have the entire world of knowledge in their pocket, literally. Smart phones can tell them everything they want to know about a home for sale, the market in general, mortgages, and more. For sellers, there are a few things they can do to take advantage of this. Set up a website for the home. Something simple will do, but it will make it easier for buyers to find the house when they search. Be open about everything. They'll find out anyway and they tend to shun people who mislead them. Respect them. They might not be you, but they are a force to be reckoned with.
2. They'll work for it - If your home needs some work, sell it as is and let Millennials fix it up. Gen Xers, usually older siblings or parents, were different. They tended to stay in their lane and pay someone else to do the work. Millennials can access videos and instructions for anything they want to know about how to fix up a house. They can and will do the work themselves to save money.
3. They're fighting for the homes of their parents - Millennials and Baby Boomers are competing for houses. Both generations are large and want homes. Interestingly, the Boomers are starting to look for smaller homes to move their empty nests to at the same time the Millennials are looking for small homes to start building their nest in. This has caused a couple years of inventory crunches and that won't get a lot better soon.
4. Interest rates will change their plans - Low interest rates have been great for the new home buyers that are looking to get a lot of house with a low mortgage. That's about to change as interest rates continue to rise. They will be looking at not buying right away or for less expensive houses. Sellers will lose their power as many buyers leave the market and there is less competition for every house that goes on the market.
The takeaways for the sellers are these:
- Plan on getting less for your house than you might have a year ago.
- Plan on using the internet and social media to sell your home.
- It's okay to leave some cosmetic stuff undone. The Millennials will do it to save money.
- Don't assume that the people in front of you are naive or lazy. They have the world in their hands in a way you might only be able to dream of.