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Selling Your House? Learn How To Appeal To The Millennial Home Buyer

Written by Paul Esajian

Key Takeaways

  • The latest millennial home buying statistics show that these young home buyers continue to be the focus of the real estate market.
  • Selling to the millennial home buyer is just a matter of developing an understanding of what they want in a home.
  • Understanding millennial home buyer statistics and trends helps sellers in devising the perfect marketing strategies.

Learning how to market to the millennial home buyer is the right move for those wanting to sell their property competitively. Millennials are all grown up, and are quickly saturating the real estate market. Failing to place a keen eye on the latest millennial home buying trends could be detrimental to your real estate business. Keep reading to get your fill of the latest millennial statistics, trends and tips.

Millennial Home Buying Statistics

It’s no secret millennials continue to make up the majority of today’s home buyer demographics. Millennials make up 66% of first-time home buyers, and 34% of the home buying market overall, so if you plan to sell a property, it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with some millennial home buying statistics. According to, only 11% of millennial home buyers consider their first home as permanent, yet they have specific wishlists. Because down payments are so hard to save up for, today’s young home buyers tend to prefer turn-key properties. Some home buying trends stay the same regardless of the generation. Over half of Millennials prefer to purchase homes in the suburbs, with only 25% opting for urban areas.

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Millennial home buying statistics

Current Home Buying Trends

Whether you position yourself as a real estate agent for millennials or as an investor looking to target millennial housing trends, it is still important to keep in touch with current home buying trends overall. Although millennial real estate trends are dominating the industry landscape, it is important to keep in mind that other generations still make up a significant proportion of potential buyers. Here are some key highlights on current home buying trends from the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Generational Trends report:

  • Previously owned homes prevail: In 2017, 85% of home buyers purchased previously owned homes, while the rest purchased new homes. The most common type of home purchased was the single-family home. However, interestingly, the majority of home buyers under the age of 37 who purchased a new home did so in order to avoid renovations and having to pay to remedy problems.

  • Online presence is key: A vast majority of today’s home buyers first find their property online. Nine out of ten buyers stated that real estate photos were the most important feature on online listings. In addition, buyers between the ages of 53 and 71 felt that virtual tours were the most important, as this generation tends to move the longest distances.

  • Financing remains a necessity: Although 88% of home buyers finance their home purchase, the statistic increased to 98% when it comes to buyers under the age of 37. Although most consumers use their savings for a down payment, the proportion increases for millennials, while older generations to use proceeds from a previous sale. Most buyers across all generations still view buying a home as a good investment.

  • Agents are more needed than ever: 87% of all home buyers worked with an agent, but the share increased to 90% for buyers aged 37 and younger. Buyers who worked with an agent cited that they wanted help finding the right home, negotiating the purchase price and terms of sale, as well as help in understanding the purchase process.

Selling To The Millennial Home Buyer: What Do Millennials Want In A Home?

When devising a strategy on selling to millennial home buyers, it is important to ask yourself, “what do millenials want in a home?” Selling real estate to millennials is no easy feat, as they have a unique set of preferences and demands that set them apart from buyers of other generations. Check out the following list of “must-have” features for today’s youthful buyers:

  • Updated kitchen and bathroom: Brand new fixtures in kitchens and bathrooms are important for budget-conscious millennials. Because of their limited budgets, most millennials’ savings will go towards a down payment and furniture, and not updates.

  • Open floor concept: Although formal dining rooms used to be popular, today’s buyers prefer an open concept where the kitchen, dining and living areas all flow together. All rooms are used as hangout spaces.

  • Home office space: The number of Americans who work remotely continues to grow each year, making a home office an important factor for home buyers. Having a dedicated space will help them focus on the task at hand.

  • Proximity: It could be attributed to high gas prices and traffic, or to eco-consciousness, but young buyers tend to emphasize the property’s location. Proximity to work or public transportation, as well as walkability, are all important considerations.

  • Low maintenance features: Today’s “weekend warriors” tend to not want to spend their weekends carrying out chores and honey-do lists. Instead, millennials are showing a preference for low-maintenance, low-upkeep features.

  • Home technology: Technology has taken center stage in real estate for millennials, as these digital natives have saturated the home buying landscape. Prepare to talk to potential buyers about wireless service providers, carrier signal strength, and smart home features.

  • Energy efficient: Energy efficiency features such as solar panels help millennial buyers kill two birds with one stone. Increased efficiency allows them to protect their budgets while satisfying their environmental consciousness.

  • Online photography: Mentioned earlier, the vast majority of home buyers find their property online. Setting up a real estate website for millennials is essential, which should include photographs and virtual tours of the property after it has been professionally staged.

Real Estate Marketing For Millennials: 5 Tips For Success

Those who hope to successfully sell to today’s buyers must actively take part in real estate marketing for millennials. Traditional marketing tactics may not work on these digital natives, and real estate professionals who take the initiative to understand this generation’s consumer preferences and behavior will develop an advantage. The following are 5 unique tips to find success in selling to the millennial home buyer:

  • Help them each step of the way: 90% of home buyers aged 37 and younger worked with a real estate agent, and many of them cited that they wanted help in understanding the home buying process. Understand that guidance is extremely important to this consumer segment, and take advantage by marketing your emphasis in assisting clients.

  • Know that price matters: A majority of millennials use their savings to pay their down payment, more so than other generations, signaling limitations in financial options. Help these buyers by suggesting how to save money or use their funds in the most impactful way during the home buying process.

  • Pay attention to visual representation: Visually-based social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are popular amongst young home buyers. In addition, many of them cite staging as an important factor filtering through properties online. Do not hesitate to market your property in a visually-compelling manner, such as through Instagram or Pinterest.

  • Specify your competitive advantage: Millennials know that each real estate agent has something unique to offer, so be ready to stand out from a group of candidates by clearly specifying what you have to offer to them.

  • Go digital: Is should go without saying that the best way to appeal to this generation of digital natives is through digital marketing. 93% of home buyers aged 37 and younger use the internet for their home buying process.

There are a variety of trends associated with the millennial home buyer, and as a seller or real estate professional, it is important to keep up with the latest statistics and information. Each generation has its own unique tastes and preferences, and furthermore, there are divergences within each of those home buyer segments. Those who make an effort to keep up with these preferences, and take the extra step to understand why consumers have these preferences, are best able to serve these home buyers’ needs.

Have you successfully sold a property to a millennial home buyer? If so, what specifically attracted them to your listing? Feel free to share in the comments below: