Baby Boomers: Here’s How to Sell Your Home to Millennials

While it is true that Millennials are living at home longer than previous generations, that doesn’t mean that they won’t eventually want to buy their own home, just like every generation before them. Considering there are 83 million Millennials in comparison to only 75 million Baby Boomers, they represent the largest pool of home buyers in the US.

Millennial HomeownerIt’s important to understand, however, that Millennials are going to value totally different things than what may have motivated you to purchase your home. The large yard and garden that you may have fallen in love with may seem like a huge burden to a tech savvy Millennial who may also be concerned about the environmental impact of using so much water to tend it. Some things that younger home buyers are placing a high value on, you can’t change, such as whether you live close to an urban area, in a good school district or close to a coffee shop.

On the other hand, if you do happen to live in a good urban school district and close to public transportation, shopping and a coffee shop, then you are in prime Millennial territory and that’s the demographic you are most likely to sell your home to – possibly at a large profit. In that case, you want to maximize the draws that have already been handed to you on a silver platter by creating a Millennial-friendly space and marketing through favored Millennial mediums. Here are 4 ways baby boomers can best market their homes to younger home buyers.

Tech it up

While you may still be using a flip phone, younger generations are far more tech savvy and are looking for homes already using advanced tech. Installing the latest home tech doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, but will generally go a long way to help sell your home to younger buyers. Some examples of modern tech you can install relatively inexpensively are a learning thermostat, smart smoke/ CO2 detector, smart locks and a video doorbell. Most of these will run you under $200 each, but will probably generate far more in a sale, particularly when installed collectively.

Low maintenance exteriors

Young home buyers are far more likely to want to spend more time at home playing video games than gardening and mowing a lawn. You can combine attractive features by installing a smart watering system that won’t turn on if it has just rained. This will appeal to younger buyers on many levels. It’s tech savvy, saves them the trouble of watering and it’s environmentally friendly by way of cutting down on water usage. While you may love tending your extensive garden, if you live in a Millennial-friendly area, you may want to tear it up and replace it with a more low-maintenance xeriscape garden or even a rock garden.

Energy EfficientGreen – energy efficient interiors

Today’s young home buyers are not just concerned with energy costs, they are also concerned with environmental impact. Most real estate agents recommend not doing major renovations when getting ready to sell your home, since the new home buyers will want to put their own imprint on their new home. It is common, however, to do some minor upgrades such as painting and replacing worn flooring and possibly even older kitchen appliances. Repainting with low VOC paint will go a long way to impressing young buyers, as will energy star appliances, energy efficient doors and windows and even solar panels. If you have old carpeting or vinyl flooring that needs to be replaced, consider replacing it with bamboo or some other material that has a high green rating or low environmental impact.

Use the internet

Young home buyers are hugely internet and tech savvy and that is where they are most likely to turn when looking for a home. While not all home buyers will begin their search online, 92% of home buyers will use the web at some point during the home search process. Just listing your home online is not enough, however. Younger demographics also rely heavily on social media, so you can also use social media to give yourself an edge over competing sellers. In addition, to simply listing your home, offering a video tour or even an aerial view of your home via drone will go a long way toward creating more interest in your home among younger buyers.

The Essentials to Styling Your Home to Sell Quickly

When listing a home on the market, it’s important to do everything in your power to ensure it sells as quickly as possible. Not only will sitting on the market for a protracted period of time leave your money tied up in the home, but it can also make your property seem less appealing to prospective buyers. Here are some of the best steps you can take to make your home sell quickly.

Update Paint and Flooring

New Painted WallsMany homes that have been in the hands of the same owner for many years have slowly fallen out of date in terms of interior decor. If you want your home to sell fast, it’s important to update its appearance before listing it. Fresh paint and new flooring will be relatively inexpensive, but they will make your home much more appealing to potential buyers. Look through some home magazines to get a sense of what the preferred styles are at the moment, as these will typically be what buyers are looking for.

Arrange Rooms to Create the Illusion of More Space

Some homeowners, especially those who sell without the help of an agent, make the mistake of showing their homes with the furniture arranged as it usually is. While this may be the most comfortable arrangement of furniture you have found, it probably isn’t the best for styling a home to sell. Try rearranging the furniture and decor in your living spaces to make them look larger. In your living room, for example, position couches or loveseats near the edges of the room to create a large, open space in the center, as this will make the room look larger than it actually is.

Get Your Lighting Right

As minor a matter as it may seem, home lighting plays a large role in how potential buyers will view your property. Dim, outdated lighting will make your home seem less inviting. Modern lighting that illuminates your spaces more thoroughly, on the other hand, will tend to appeal to home buyers. At the moment, bright but cool lights are very much in style.

Pay Special Attention to Your Kitchen

Because it is used multiple times every day, a home’s kitchen is one of its most important spaces. Buyers will be looking for a kitchen with modern styling, so be sure you can give it to them. This can be as simple as updating paint or wallpaper, but there are also several other steps you can take. Replacing countertops, sinks or cabinet hardware, for example, will help to improve the appearance of the space.

Enhance Your Outdoor Space

Outdoor SpaceIn the process of styling a home ahead of putting it on the market, some homeowners focus entirely on their indoor areas and ignore the outdoor elements of their properties. This is a major mistake, as the outdoor part of your property will be the first thing a buyer sees upon arriving. Make sure that your yard is well-trimmed and tastefully landscaped. You may also consider laying down fresh grass seed or fertilizer before listing your home in order to make your lawn appear fuller and healthier.

Get Photo-Ready

When a potential buyer first sees your home, chances are he or she will be looking at an online listing. If you want to make your home stand out from the pack, be sure you’re ready for a professional real estate photographer to take great pictures in your living spaces. One good way to ready your home for this process is to carefully position small decorative or accent pieces on shelves while keeping tables largely clear. Ideally, the pictures of your home should make it look friendly, inviting and livable. For this reason, it is rarely a good idea to list a home with photographs of empty rooms, as this will make it harder for buyers to visualize themselves living in it.

Focus On Your Entryway

Houses are a lot like people in that those who are seeing them for the first time form opinions very quickly based on their appearances. This is why your home’s entryway is such an important space if you want it to sell quickly. Upon entering your house, a potential buyer should form a positive impression immediately. To help this happen, you can install tile or hardwood flooring or position a table with a tasteful decor piece or two by the door. The exterior of your entrance should also be striking, with good-looking lighting fixtures and door hardware in place.

There’s never an absolute guarantee that your house will sell quickly, but with proper styling you can vastly increase the chances that it will. Remember as you prepare your home to look at it through the eyes of a prospective buyer, rather than as someone who has lived there for years. By understanding what a buyer will be looking for, you can style your house to appeal to the person who is hunting for a new home.

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How to Prepare Your Home for a Spring Sale

Spring is a peak time in the real estate market. If you’re selling your home, having a few months to prepare can make the difference in how appealing it is to potential buyers and quickly your home sells. Here are some valuable suggestions on steps to take to ensure your home sells for the price you want.

Real Estate Snap ShotPlan A Home Inspection

When you’re selling your home, it’s a good idea to have an inspection done for any potential issues before you place it on the market. If problems are uncovered once you list your home, it could take longer to sell and cost you more money to make necessary improvements.

Research Homes For Sale

One of the biggest decisions is whether to sell your home or buy another home first. Research home prices in the area in which you plan to move. A realtor can assist you with market prices and how fast homes are selling in your region, so you’ll have an approximate idea of how long it will take you to find a new home. A realtor can help you with the financing during the transition phase of the sale.

Talk To Several Realtors

You should interview different realtors to find out what they can offer in your price range. Don’t automatically choose the realtor that says they’ll sell your home faster than anyone else. The realtor should provide you with a market analysis and be familiar with the local area in which you plan to buy your next home.

Early Spring Cleaning

Everyone has items that clutter their home. Before your house goes on the market, do a thorough cleaning and get rid of the clutter. Potential owners want to envision themselves living in your home and don’t want to see your family photographs or children’s art projects and toys scattered around the house. Put away kitchen items you use everyday when you’re having a showing.

Make Improvements To Your Home

Expensive renovations to your home isn’t always an option, but aesthetic improvements will make your home appealing to buyers. Give interior walls a fresh coat of paint. Replacing old light fixtures and ceiling fans or replacing bathroom fixtures and grout will give your home a new appearance.

You could find local contractors who don’t charge a lot to make cosmetic improvements such as painting kitchen cabinets or refinishing floors to spruce up the interior. Determine what your budget must be to make the necessary improvements and how much time will be needed to get everything done.

Begin Packing

Packing months before your home goes on the market may not sound feasible, but it’s a good time to go through your attic and basement and give away or sell items you won’t need. Items you won’t need right away can be packed and put aside.

Put items aside to host a Spring sale as the time gets closer for you to move. Packing away unnecessary items give your home a larger appearance, and potential buyers can determine where they want to place furniture when they move in.

Make Your Home Sparkling CleanCleaning

Make sure everything inside and out is clean and sparkling. Furniture should be polished, floors should be clean, and carpeting should smell fresh. Before you put your home on the market, have a cleaning company come in to give your home a thorough cleaning and have your carpets professionally cleaned.

Return On Your Investment

You probably don’t want to spend a lot making home improvements before you sell, but making upgrades can give you the most ROI. For example, if your floors are vinyl tile, you may upgrade to laminate or hardwood floors. Older appliances can be upgraded to newer, more energy efficient brands. Replacing older appliances with stainless steel models are a plus. Wood-grained counter tops can be replaced with granite or quartz.

Check Out Homes in Your Area

When you’re selling your home, a little homework goes a long way. Look at listings in your area. Find out how long the homes have been on the market. Look at houses in a similar price range with amenities that match your home. Researching the local market will give you an idea of what upgrades you need to make to your home and what your asking price should be.

Curb Appeal is Essential

Some buyers decide whether or not they like your home when they see it for the first time. Mulch your plant beds, trim excess growth from shrubs and trees, make sure your lawn is manicured, and make sure the exterior of your home looks welcoming. Small touches like painting the trim and front door or potted plants on your front porch can give it the “wow” factor.

Although you may have to spend money for a Spring sale of your home, by making necessary improvements, you’re more likely to get a good return on your biggest investment.

Tips for First-Time Home Sellers

Selling a home is more complicated than buying one. Home sellers need to balance their desire for a quick sale with a wish to get the best price for their home. Logistically, you need to deal with coordinating the purchase of a new home with the sale of the old one. Just when you are busiest with trying to juggle selling and buying and issues involved with moving and perhaps even a new job, you need to keep your home spotlessly clean and uncluttered for showings. The tips below will help you sell your house successfully, minimizing the stress involved and leading to a timely sale at a good price.

Get OrganizedOrganize

To avoid getting overwhelmed and perhaps missing some crucial task or piece of paperwork, you need to keep good records and an up-to-date to-do list on which you write down every task that needs to be done, the time by which it must be finished, and the person responsible for it. Schedule a regular time every evening to review the list with your family and make sure everything is on track.

Pricing to Sell

You’ll be working closely with your agent to set a realistic asking price for your house. Although the key to pricing is looking at previous data on sales of comparable houses, you should also visit nearby open houses to get a sense of the competition. Don’t be fooled by asking prices. Anyone can ask a fortune for a dump, but that doesn’t mean a buyer will pay that much. Price realistically in terms of what buyers have actually paid for houses of roughly the same size in the same neighborhood. You don’t need to price a house under market value either, as that may cause buyers to wonder what is wrong with it. Instead, aim for a price similar to comparable properties.

Prepare to Move

Before you put your house on the market, you should do the groundwork for moving out of it. Some potential buyers want to close quickly and you don’t want to lose a potential sale because you aren’t ready to move out. This means two things. First, you should begin looking for a new house before the listing of your old one goes live. Second, you should start preparing to move by donating things you don’t intend to keep to charity and organizing remaining items to make packing go more smoothly when you need to do it.

Create Curb Appeal

You only have a few seconds to create a good impression with a potential buyer. This means that your house should look great from the outside. Pressure washing will make the exterior of your house and your driveway sparkle. Keep the lawn neatly mowed, leaves raked, or snow shoveled, as buyers may request showings on short notice. Brighten up the front landscaping with colorful flowers in summer or cheerful evergreens with bright berries in winter. If you have a busy schedule, consider hiring a service to keep your yard in pristine condition while it’s on the market.

Repair Minor Issues

If you have been living in a home for several years, it won’t be in pristine condition. There may be stains on the carpet, scuffs on wood floors, scratches on counter tops, or chips in the paint. Although you may not want to invest large amounts of money in a house you will soon be leaving, the more minor issues you can fix, the easier it will be to sell the house. Steam cleaning carpets, polishing floors, touching up minor scuffs and scrapes, and replacing grout and caulking can make a house look newer and “move-in ready”, things that will appeal to buyers.

Cleaning to Sell

Cleanliness takes on a whole new meaning when you are trying to sell a house. It’s no longer just about sanitation. What matters is that things shine and sparkle to create a “new house” feel. Start by having the interiors and exteriors of all your windows cleaned. Next, clean drapes, blinds, and moldings. Carpets should be vacuumed, tile mopped, and wood polished. Mirrors, counter tops, appliance surfaces, door handles, switch and outlet covers, and fixtures should be spotless. Wash all bedding and use cedar blocks to freshen your closets. Many experts recommend hiring a cleaning service to do a one-time deep clean the day before your house goes on the market. If you are really busy, consider scheduling a professional cleaner to come in once a week to keep your house spotless.

Smells Don’t Sell

Smell matters as much as appearance. Pet odors, mildew, or other scents can drive off buyers. Don’t use air fresheners, plug-ins, candles, or scented potpourri as many people may find those objectionable. Clean with baking soda to reduce odors. Run lemon or orange peel through a disposal to reduce odors and consider a colorless bleach tank drop in for toilets. Use cleaning products with a light citrus scent. After cleaning, open up all the doors and windows to air out the house; nothing smells as fresh as real fresh air. Freshen up linen closets with cedar blocks or odor absorbents. For persistent smells, consider buying or renting an ozone machine.

Declutter

Your final step in getting ready for your first showings is decluttering. The less stuff you have in the house, the more open and spacious it will appear. Removing personal touches will also help buyers imagine how the house will look with their own personal items in place. Clear off counter tops and banish personal collections and mementos to the garage or a storage unit.

You are not alone as a house seller. Your agent is an expert who has helped many home sellers in the past and can provide advice through every step of the selling process. The more closely you work with your agent, the more smoothly the selling process will go.

 

How to decorate for the holidays when your home is for sale

The holidays are a time to deck the halls and celebrate the ones you love, but what to do when the “home for sale” sign is up and you have to keep up appropriate appearances? Contrary to what many may think, the holidays are actually a wonderful time to warmly invite potential buyers in and show off your home’s most attractive features. It may take some careful planning and paring down, but with thoughtful effort you can turn the holidays into your home’s best selling point! ┬áHere are some simple tips for decorating your home while it’s on the market during the holiday season.

1. Remember That Less Is More:

When staging a house for sale it’s always advised to err on the side of elegance, rather than clutter. While the cheerful bustle and chaos of the holidays are usually welcome additions in the home, you may have to reduce the clutter and stick to carefully selected ornaments and heirloom items that highlight your home’s most beloved accents. Be wary of putting up religious-themed decorations, as these may be off-putting to potential buyers, and be mindful of distracting knick-knacks.

2. Make Use Of The Winter Greenery:Christmas Greenery

Evergreen wreaths, pine cone centerpieces, and garlands tied with bright red ribbons make for time-honored and universally appealing holiday decor, and are as easy to acquire as they are lovely. Front doors, stairway banisters, fireplace mantles, and even mailboxes can benefit from a little holiday sprucing up (no pun intended), and will instantly brighten your home’s appearance.

3. Stick To A Palette:

A great rule of thumb when decorating your home for sale is to note the interior color schemes and decorate within those hues and textures. For example, if your living room is mostly white try to select appropriate ornaments and accent pieces in colors that will blend and compliment, such as golds and silvers. For more eclectic rooms stick with classic cranberry and forest green tones, always keeping mind the less-is-more mantra.

4. Avoid Colorful Lights, And Keep Them Classy:

Let’s face it, few things are more fun than festooning one’s house with lights that twinkle in all colors of the rainbow. But when looking to decorate for the holidays it’s generally best to implement simple white lights and string them with an eye for drawing attention to particularly attractive architectural highlights or specific points of interest. Additionally, make sure you string your lights evenly, following a clean and discernible pattern. Keep lawn ornaments at a minimum, and always make sure the holiday lights are on and in working order when the house is being shown.

5. To Tree Or Not To Tree:

Christmas trees are the centerpieces of the holiday home, and few would dream of forgoing them even when showing off a home for sale. The good news is you can certainly enjoy your favorite holiday tradition, so long as you stick to a few easy–but necessary–guidelines. Just as you want to decorate within a room’s color scheme, it’s also best to select a tree that suits the room’s space in similar fashion. Try to stay away from gaudy tree ornaments, loud or mismatched garlands, and multi-colored lights, opting instead for a specific theme (silver and gold, red and gold, icicle lights, Victorian bows, etc) and trimming the tree accordingly.

Cookies6. Put Out Some Holiday Treats:

Indulging in your favorite holiday goodies is arguably one of the best parts of the season, and there’s no reason you can’t share that joy with prospective buyers stopping by. Cookies, confections, nut assortments, cider, and hot chocolate are all easy and delicious items that will make your guests feel pampered and at home, which may just influence their decision in regards to buying yours! If you’re concerned about food allergies or gluten sensitivities, keep a few special recipes on hand you can whip up and add to the spread as a thoughtful touch.

7. Pay Attention To The Little Things:

Scents, sounds, and temperature all play a part in how your home influences visitors to look and leave or linger and enjoy. Try not to overwhelm the house with heavy, clashing scents a’la candles and plug-in mists, but instead opt for a pot of simmering mulled cider on the stove or single burning candle in the front hall in a subtle vanilla or evergreen scent (if you know you’ll be present, of course.) Music can similarly add or detract from the atmosphere; classical, light jazz, and of course the cherished Nutcracker Suite all lend a particularly delightful touch without overwhelming your guests’ personal tastes. Pay attention to the temperature of your home as well, as nothing is more inviting than a cozy escape from the outside chill. Keep the thermostat at a pleasantly warm temperature, and if you have a fireplace and know you’ll be present while the house is being shown invite guests to warm their hands by the fire.

There are many ways to decorate for the holidays without deterring prospective home buyers. Simple color schemes, elegant lighting, and a few hospitable touches go a long way in creating the kind of environment that encourages guests to enjoy the comforts and unique features that made your house a home.

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