Moving Houses in Today Housing Market
What’s going on in the marketplace? Putting it mildly, it’s busy out here! I sold nine homes over the last two weeks, including to first-time buyers, move-up buyers, and one upscale luxury buyer. What am I seeing?
Millennials are starting to notice the housing market. While most are still saddled with too much debt and too little income, I am seeing a marked increase in home ownership interest. This is a very positive development because it is increasing the demand for starter homes. Increased demand for starter homes means that starter home sellers can buy move-up homes. Move-up sellers can sell and… It’s a virtuous cycle that helps everybody.
What are these newcomers buying, and how can you take advantage of their wants and needs? There’s a strong preference for homes inside urban areas or close to urban areas. It’s all about convenience; they want a home that makes their life easier. (Tip: If you have a starter home without a dishwasher, install one before it goes to market! Major bonus bucks are also awarded for tech features like Amazon Nest.) This generation has fewer repair and “fix-it” skills than previous generations. Sellers who do pre-listing inspections and who make repairs are rewarded handsomely. Sellers with flawed properties are inordinately punished. ($1,000 repair jobs are treated and priced out like $5,000 repair jobs because they just don’t know any better.) This is the HGTV generation. Sellers who make repairs and who do updating reap major financial benefits!
Move-up buyers are a different story. They learned repair skills on their first house but still want to avoid the most troublesome repairs. Still, it’s not their first rodeo and they don’t scare as easily. (This isn’t an excuse to avoid pre-listing inspections and necessary repairs!) Move-up buyers often have families, will look farther afield, and welcome suburban and rural living. Their major concerns switch to taxes and school districts.
What should move-up house sellers do to attract to move-up buyers? Sellers in areas with low taxes and great school districts must tout these benefits. Having a list of amenities (location of the nearest Redbox, a map showing shopping and restaurants, etc.) available for potential buyers goes a long way. Of course, don’t neglect condition! Just because these buyers know how to repair a toilet doesn’t mean they want to spend six figures to do so again!
Luxury homebuyers are the most fickle buyers. They know what they want and have the money to wait, make demands, and will adjust the house to meet their own whims and preferences. I’m working with a few luxury homebuyers right now. As is normal, these buyers don’t have to move. They are willing to move if the right home comes along in the right location at the right price.
Upscale sellers must understand that their buyer will be as picky as they were. Worse, the custom finishes you painstakingly installed to put your fingerprint on your property may be disregarded by the buyer. After all, that buyer wants to put their own fingerprint on their property! My best advice is to be patient, expect buyers to be fickle, and to ask your agent what updates should be in place to make the house attractive while maintaining a positive return on investment.
Do you want to learn more about what your homebuyers want? Or are you a homebuyer who wants to find the right place at the right price with the right amenities? My name is Mike and I am a Realtor and Broker Associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage of Brookfield, WI. Let’s talk. My email is Mike.firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call me at 414-207-2938.