By Rose Stanford
If you’re putting your home on the market, millennials will be among the prospective buyers. People born between 1980 and 2000 now make up the largest share of the home buying market (at 36 percent). That share will continue to grow. If you expect to sell soon, it’s essential to know what the age group wants.
To sell your home with a good ROI, you don’t want to put a lot of costly improvements into it. Here are six upgrades you can easily make that will appeal to millennials.
1. Make it move-in ready.
Millennials don’t want to be saddled with repairs — and haven’t budgeted for them.
- Fresh paint inside and out can make a difference. A good rule of thumb is to use neutral colors for the interior, as you may not know what their taste is.
- It might not be feasible to replace the plumbing and HVAC unit, but make sure they’re in good working order (and don’t make the inspector’s “needs repair” list).
- If you’re considering replacing worn carpeting, don’t. Millennials and most other demographic groups prefer natural wood, tile, or laminate flooring.
2. Maximize the selling potential of your space.
Millennials like open floor plans. You’re probably not willing to knock out walls, but you can make your existing configuration more appealing.
- Laundry room. It tests as the single most crucial thing millennials want in a house. If you have one, freshen it with a new coat of paint and organize it.
- Kitchen. It is the social focal point of the house for family and entertaining. If you have enough space for a table and chairs, that’s a plus. Outdated appliances such as dishwashers, stovetops, and ovens will be a big turn-off.
- Dining room. Millennials have little use for them and would prefer the space repurposed, often as a media room.
- Home office. Many millennials work at home, and all manage personal affairs online. Setting up a spare bedroom (or any other little-used room) as a home office can be a big enticement.
3. The yard is growing in importance.
Millennials put more value on lawns than older generations, so an attractive yard is high on their want list. They also appreciate the added entertainment space a nice patio and yard can add to their home.
- Keep your yard well maintained. Make sure to water, weed, mow, and treat your lawn regularly and as needed to have a fresh lawn upon selling.
- Young adults love plants, both indoors and out, so attractive flower beds and garden areas are potential sales points.
- Make sure the fence is in good repair because most millennials have — or intend to have – children and pets and will want secure outdoor space for them.
- Update your patio and other outdoor living areas the same way you would your living room with attractive furnishings, potted plants, etc.
4. Add smart home features.
Millennial homebuyers are value-conscious. Yet, most are willing to pay an additional 20% for smart home features.
- Smart lights, locks, security cameras and other devices that operate via Bluetooth or personal assistant add to sales value.
- One easy way to make your home more tech-friendly is to replace electrical outlets with ones that have USB charging ports.
5. Be mindful of energy efficiency.
Younger buyers tend to be “green” minded and budget-conscious and look for energy efficiencies. Some improvements you make may not be readily visible at a showing, so make sure your agent passes them along to prospective buyers.
- Add insulation if needed.
- Replace lights with LED light bulbs.
- Install a smart thermostat that automatically controls temperatures in various parts of the house as it’s set to.
- Use smart plugs to control lights and other appliances.
6. Put in the effort to stage your home.
Professional stagers function like set decorators who know what potential buyers want in a home. Nearly all millennials look at home photos online first, so a stagers talent can be especially valuable. Ask your broker about having a professional photographer put your home in the best light.
Rose Stanford is a former real estate agent who enjoys fixing up and staging older homes. Her specialty is renovating backyards and patios.