When it comes to selling a house, you want to appeal to as many potential buyers as possible. For years, that meant targeting baby boomers and Gen Xers; but today, millennials are buying homes in larger numbers than ever. In fact, by early 2019, they represented 42% of all new home loans. This means that any seller would be wise to keep millennial buyers in mind when getting a house ready to show.
While there are definitely upgrades that sellers can make to catch the eye of millennial home buyers, there are also some home features that are known to send millennial buyers running. Curious if your own home has any of these features? Check what these real estate agents say repel millennial homes buyers today—and how to fix these problems with minimal money and effort.
1. Wood cabinets in the kitchen
Interior decor choices might seem trivial, but they can have a big impact on buyers. For instance, Yuri Blanco, the owner of Re/Max Executives in Idaho, says that old-fashioned wood cabinetry in the kitchen is a huge turnoff for most millennial home buyers.
“Millennials aren’t looking for oak cabinets like we saw in the 20th century,” she says. “They like more clean lines and cabinets with flat doors.”
The fast fix: If your budget doesn’t allow for tearing out dated cabinets, there’s still hope. Consider other ways to update the kitchen, such as sanding and painting the existing cabinetry.
2. Closed floor plans
Blanco says the classic closed floor plan is a turnoff for most millennials, and suggests that sellers take whatever steps necessary to fix the issue.
“Before selling, try knocking out some walls,” she says. “Millennials want wide, open spaces.”
The fast fix: Of course, not everyone can afford to knock down walls when preparing a home for sale.
If your budget doesn’t allow for major remodels, do what you can to emphasize the flow between rooms. Removing doors in favor of open archways between common spaces, for example, can help.
3. Formal dining rooms
Some home trends are especially generational—and experts put formal dining rooms firmly in that category. Millennials as a group tend to favor flexible spaces, Blanco explains.
“A generation ago, formal dining rooms may have been on every buyer’s wish list,” she says. “But today there really isn’t much appeal to the formal dining room. An open space that can easily transition from kitchen to TV room is high on the list of the perfect home for young buyers. We are seeing upticks in areas with bar stools and breakfast nooks instead.”
The fast fix: If your property has a formal dining room and you can’t afford to change the layout, consider staging the space creatively to show how it could be used in a more modern, functional way. For instance, you could stage the space as a home office or entertainment room instead.
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