Traditionally, younger people are itching to become homeowners. Today, they're even more interested -- thanks to low prices and record-low mortgage rates.
So, how should you appeal to this younger market?
First, speak to your real estate agent. An experienced agent is familiar with the buying trends in your area. Like it or not, some neighborhoods just do not lend themselves well to younger buyers. See if you live in one of them.
Typically, homes with extensive upkeep or homes in rural areas are not the best prospects for targeting younger buyers.
Because younger buyers, with their time-demanding lifestyles, trend towards homes that are easy to maintain. Unless you price your home so low that a younger person can't turn it down, if your home is a real fixer-upper your chances for attracting younger buyers is likely reduced.
OK, so you're home is in good shape, and you live in a "cool" neighborhood. Now what?
Give your house an honest assessment, and see if you're turning off younger buyers. Just because your house is in good shape doesn't mean it's capable of attracting a younger crowd.
So what turns off younger buyers, and what can you do to improve your home's appeal?
1. Popcorn ceilings
Since many of them weren't even born when this was the rage, these can be a real turn-off to the 20's and 30's group. Obviously your best choice is to update these ceilings entirely. If that option is too expensive, at the very least you need to clean and re-paint them.
2. Too much carpet
Younger buyers get more excited about hardwood flooring or tile. In fact, some agents report that younger buyers are actually turning away from carpeted homes even before they see them!
If you choose not to upgrade all your floors, at least consider the high-traffic areas -- like your family or living rooms. Believe it or not, pre-finished laminates are actually very affordable.
Got a carpet with stains? You're moving towards the dreaded fixer-upper status -- at least in the minds of many younger buyers. So get rid of it!
3. Ornate furnishings
Real estate agents say that younger home buyers are unimpressed with elaborate draperies and outdated lighting fixtures. Consider simplifying the drapes -- perhaps by eliminating the heavy swags and valances. Think about opening the heavy drapes and accessorizing with some light, airy sheers.
Also, replace your heavy-hanging light fixtures with chic new designs. There's no need to spend a fortune, though. Check online or at your neighborhood home stores.
This is a tricky one. Modern, chic patterns can work in your favor, but outdated velvety, or worn out papers must be removed. The young buyer really wants no part of stripping wallpaper!
5. Your color scheme
You might love that bold orange, but consider it a huge red flag for younger buyers. Overall, assume that younger buyers want to move into a home with as few projects as possible. Invest in calming neutral colors or earth tones. In other words, colors that do not offend anyone.
As an added benefit, trendy neutral tones invite buyers to imagine how their own accent pieces and décor will fit.
6. Your appliances and countertops
Seriously consider investing in modern stainless steel or sleek black appliances. No question, this is an upgrade that can more than pay for itself!
And while you're at it, consider an additional investment for granite or stone countertops. Even better, if you can pull this off in the bathrooms, along with some sleek new light fixtures, you might have just created the perfect look for the eager young buying crowd.
And while you're at it, how about those cabinets? Could they cost you a sale?
Simply stated, keep it simple and sleek. Younger buyers are busy. They want to move in, accessorize, and enjoy.
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