Millennials vs. Baby-Boomers: Selling an Outdated House in Today’s Real Estate Market

/ August 4, 2016

The Problem

There is a great divide in the current real estate market caused by the large percentage of homes being sold by baby-boomers and older generations or their heirs. Many of these homes are outdated and unappealing to Millennials and Gen Xers, who comprise 61% of all buyers and more than 80% of first-time buyers. The problem is, the current owners don’t have the time, money or knowledge to effectively update their home before selling it, and this is costing them greatly.

The Younger Buyer

The 95 million members of the Millennial generation are looking to buy homes that are completely updated and “move-in-ready” featuring:

  • Open floor plans, especially the kitchen open to the family room. Efficient use of space is crucial.
  • A home office or media room instead of a separate formal living room or dining room.
  • Lighter, brighter, open kitchens with updated cabinets, stainless-steel appliances, solid-surface countertops and enough room for the whole family and entertaining.
  • Walls painted with color schemes involving subtle whites and greys, therefore letting the decorating and furniture add splashes of color.
  • Hardwood floors or tile vs. carpet (and it should remain unsaid, but never, ever put carpet in a bathroom)
  • Mudrooms, storage space and pantries are also popular

This can be attributed to the reduction in average time of homeownership (down to five years) and lack of intent to invest “sweat-equity” – or any equity, for that matter – to update a home themselves over the years, as Boomers did. Millennials want to have full enjoyment of their house from day one.

Outdated= Lower Sale Price & Higher “Days on Market”

It’s common sense that homes in need of updating don’t create an emotional appeal for most buyers mainly because they can’t envision a home’s potential and how simple cosmetic improvements could have a dramatic impact. This causes an issue because statistics show that selling an outdated house typically takes 3-5 times longer than a “move-in-ready” one, which can be costly when having to pay property taxes, mortgage payments, utilities, interest and maintenance costs for each month the house doesn’t sell. The situation can be even more of a hardship if the house is inherited and now the responsibility of the owner’s children who need to sell the property quickly and end up accepting a low-ball offer from an investor or “home-flipper,” who then makes a profit.

Do-It-Yourself Barriers

When trying to address these issues, the vast majority of people realize they don’t have the necessary experience, time or money to successfully prepare an older home to be sold. Keys to effectively updating a property typically include:

  •  Identifying repairs needed to get a home up to code. No one wants to fall in love with a house, only to have several violations flagged during the inspection.
  • Correctly and impartially analyzing the property and its potential and then determining the ideal budget and scope of renovation based upon recent, nearby comps and an in-depth knowledge of local market activity.
  • Design and remodeling expertise to determine how to allocate the budget to best increase the value of the home and return on investment – most importantly without over-improving, a common mistake.
  • Assessing what updates to perform to increase curb appeal or cosmetics of the home, as well as staging, making the home most appealing to buyers.
  • Creating and executing a realistic plan. Do you have the capital and time to perform the updates and/or pay for materials, contractors, sub-contractors, permit fees, insurance, etc.?

The Solution

For homeowners who find they can’t effectually update a home before selling it, there are options. Revitalize Realty was created to help people in difficult situations sell a property as quickly as possible and for the highest price by assessing what enhancements would be needed to attract buyers, and then investing its own money to update the client’s home – from paint jobs and staging to actual construction projects. The Revitalization is done interest-free with no hassle or out-of-pocket expenses for the homeowner. Once the home is sold, Revitalize Realty earns a real-estate commission and standard construction fee at closing – with all the remaining profits from the sale going to the homeowner. The goal is to add value to a property by delivering a turn-key solution for owners looking to achieve maximum financial benefit when selling a home.

Revitalize Realty is more than just a “For Sale” sign in the yard and a listing on the MLS and provides a unique opportunity for homeowners by having a vested interest in selling their property. Every home and Revitalization is unique but a typical Property Analysis may entail: