The generation born between the early 80s and just after the turn of the century (aka Millennials) have been slower to take the first steps toward home ownership than previous generations. That’s likely one of the byproducts of the cultural and economic shifts which have combined to make real estate less affordable (and proportionately less appealing). While there is no denying that lately it’s been a difficult environment for many Millennials to jump into the real estate market in Madison, WI, there are still plenty of young people who would like to buy a home.
But what makes Madison, WI real estate attractive to these younger prospects can be a lot different than what has traditionally drawn previous generations of buyers. And with fewer motivated prospects in this younger generation, if you will be selling your own Madison, WI property anytime soon, you should have your antennae up for how to include them in with your other potential buyers.
It’s no secret that Millennials devote a disproportionate amount of their time in the online world. In 2013, the number of hours Millennials spent on the Internet increased by 25% to nearly 25 hours per week. In short, homes with poor wireless and mobile connections will be a difficult sell to millennial buyers. If your current connection is slow, research other providers which will be available for a new buyer. Just the fact that such options are available can be enough to remove what could potentially block a sale.
Millennial buyers (well, most buyers, actually) don’t like cluttered homes—especially those littered with outdated furniture: it’s just too much of a leap to picture how they could make their own lifestyle fit into such a space. According to real estate website Homegain, sellers who invest just $500 in home staging can be expected to reap an average 343% on that investment.
Millennials work from home in greater numbers than ever before—so presenting one of your rooms as a home office can create an appealing environment. Even if a room is currently being used for other purposes, having a wireless device working in a corner will usually be enough of a cue to point out its home office potential. If no dedicated room is available, staging a corner in the kitchen as a mobile docking/work station can also do the trick.
Millennials aren’t just refraining from purchasing homes—they’re also avoiding car purchases in the same numbers. The percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds with driver’s licenses has been dropping since 1997 (it’s now under 70% for the first time since the early 60’s). Walkability is the term describing how easy or difficult it is to walk to work, public transportation, stores, parks and other facilities. If this factor is a real estate plus for your home, create a bullet point list of approximate times or distance to local features that are closest to your property. Five or six should be enough (even if some are just a pond or small Madison, WI market!)
There is a convincing amount of evidence indicating Millennials are simply delaying real estate purchases—rather than planning to skip home ownership altogether. As the economy slowly improves, we expect greater numbers of younger buyers to enter Madison, WI’s real estate market. For now, if you will be listing your property in town this spring or summer, it’s important to keep all potential client pools in mind. I’m here to help cover all the bases—call me today if you want get going with a marketing plan designed to sell!
Jen Stauter Kornstedt
HomeTeam4U-Stark Company Realtors
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