As a home seller, you can work with a Realtor to identify potential buyers for your home, but chances are your buyer will be young, particularly if you’re selling to a first-time buyer.
According to the 2013 National Association of Realtors® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, 31 percent of recent buyers were Generation X Americans (those born between 1965 and 1979), followed closely by Millennials, also called Generation Y (born between 1980 and 2000), at 28 percent.
If you own an older home, you may need to make some adjustments to your marketing and tweak your home so that it appeals to these younger buyers.
Offer Perspective on Your Home’s Condition
Many first-time buyers are leery of purchasing a home that will require a lot of maintenance or repairs, so you may want to schedule a home inspection before you list your home and provide a reassuring report about potential problems that are non-existent or that you’ve already addressed. If you don’t want to take the time or money to make repairs, you can offer an upfront rebate to your buyers to cover their renovation expenses.
If you know your home needs some major improvements to attract buyers, you can provide prospective buyers with possible renovation plans that demonstrate whether the structure can be expanded or perhaps has attic space that can be finished. You can also have a lender prepare an example of a renovation loan from the FHA 203(k) program or the Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation program that allow borrowers to wrap renovation costs into their purchase loan.
A home warranty can be purchased at minimal cost to provide peace of mind about potential repairs to your appliances.
Market Your Community
Younger buyers are often looking for neighborhoods with good schools, recreational amenities and a strong sense of community where they can establish their family. Pick up brochures for local attractions or make your own list of great parks, playgrounds and walking trails; and contact information for local soccer league organizers, the swim team or community groups that support the arts, block parties and local festivals. If you live in an area with restaurants, nightlife or plenty of commuting options, you can provide information about those amenities, too.
Your buyers want to visualize a lifestyle for themselves and you can provide the information that helps them recognize the benefit of living in your community.
Showcase Your Home’s Best Features
All buyers want to see a home that looks clean and bright, but younger buyers are particularly attracted to homes with plenty of natural light. Older homes sometimes have smaller windows and smaller rooms, but you can improve the appearance of these rooms by using brighter light bulbs, removing window treatments and trimming back overgrown trees or shrubs from your windows.
Stage your home by removing any excess clutter, storing your heavy and dark furniture, and adding mirrors to bounce the light around the rooms.
Bring in a few young relatives or neighbors to get their suggestions about what they might like to see in your home, and work with a Realtor who can help you add a touch of youth to your aging home.