Gen Y is growing up. The days of living in a downtown loft and going out for weekend brunches are over. Millennials are now ready to settle down. Men and women born between 1980 and 2000 now make up about 35 percent of the housing market. As you prepare your house for sale, consider adding some home features that attract this generation.
1. Focal Point – The Kitchen
A large, cozy kitchen with ample counter space and seating is a real draw for young people who prefer to hang out and chat while the host prepares a meal. An open floor plan with the kitchen facing the living room is especially nice during social gatherings. It may not be feasible to knock down a wall or two, but you can update the kitchen with new fixtures and paint the walls a neutral color. Wiring the kitchen so it can handle a big-screen television is a plus, too. Upgrading to more energy-efficient appliances is another plus for today’s eco-conscious consumer.
The bathroom should be the cleanest room in the house. Old vinyl or linoleum flooring often looks dull and dingy. Replace it with something modern. The same goes for bathroom fixtures. There are many choices that fit the theme of your home’s decor. Replace rusted or soiled faucets. Showcase the bathroom with a new shower curtain and accessories. Toilet seats are cheap and easy to replace.
3. Home Office
With more people working from home, having dedicated office space is a must. In today’s connected world, it’s nice to have a place to sit, play on the computer, pay some bills, write emails, video chat, and focus on daily chores. When putting your home on the market, designate an area — such as a bedroom, basement section, or loft — as a home office so that others can see how you use the space. The room should have a table and adequate outlets to power up all mobile devices. WiFi capabilities are essential, more important than old phone jacks. The ability to hook up artificial intelligence (AI) and “smart” technology is a selling point.
4. Flooring, Walls, and Ceiling Fans
One of the first things a prospective buyer will notice when entering your home is the flooring. Polish and wax scuffed-up wooden floors and toss a couple of throw-rugs about. Get rid of torn carpeting. If the inside walls are papered or dingy, clean or paint them. Ceiling fans are a great draw for house-hunters; they look nice and can help lower air-cooling costs. Living and kitchen areas cry out for ceiling fans! New windows and insulation can also make the home more energy-efficient.
5. Fido Friendly
Seven out of 10 millennials own at least one dog. That’s why many are moving out of apartments and into houses with backyards. Sturdy fencing is a must! Shade trees and an area for the dogs to run are perks that sell.
6. The Outside
The most important point of home selling is curb appeal. It’s what draws consumers to the front door. If the lawn is overgrown or full of weeds, it makes would-be homebuyers think of it as a fixer-upper. And most millennials don't have the time for much maintenance.
But millennials do want to spend time entertaining and relaxing in the backyard. You can impress the twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings by sprucing up the landscaping with flowers, trees, shrubs, and outdoor ornaments. Plant native flowers and trees that don’t need much water or care. Container plants lining the walkways will appeal to young families who don’t have time to maintain a garden.
Replace old house numbers and that dented mailbox. Re-stain the deck. If there's no privacy fence, build one or plant privacy shrubs – but only after reviewing neighborhood rules. Fix cracks in the driveway.
Selling the idea of homeownership to folks who’ve been renting up till now is part of the plan to market your property. The more you fix up the place, the less a potential buyer will think they have to do it – and that is worth value in itself.