It is no secret we are already in the early stages of the summer buying season. If you are considering selling your home it is beyond time to call your local real estate professional and get the proverbial ball rolling.
Kids are out of school. Summer vacations are starting. And the traffic on Route 16 is becoming consistently consistent. When it comes to marketing your home though, do you know who is going to come calling?
Today, we're going to explore those buyers and help you better understand them. Like any type of sales, the better you know the buyer; the better capable you are to meet their needs. Let's get started.
Fixr (Google them if you'd like) produces a survey each year of industry pro's and gathers the information to help out people like me writing articles like this. OK, so that's not really the intention, but I'll provide the "TLDR" version of their study.
Right out of the gate the vast majority (84 percent) of homebuyers are married couples with kids. We single folks only make up a measly 3 percent. This simply means it behooves you to accentuate the parts of your home that are suitable for kids and families.
If that empty room is currently setup as a home-office, adding a day-bed or a few other "homey" features can highlight its capacity as a spare bedroom or kid's room. If your basement is finished and currently setup as your home theater, consider a bean-bag or two and maybe a handful of board games.
What is not surprising is that most buyers today, a full 73 percent, are going to be financing the purchase through a home mortgage. A small percentage (20 percent) said the purchase would be a cash payment and even fewer, 5 percent, are relying on the sale of their current home. I think this mostly means that buyers are on the same, level playing field.
As a seller, this means that you can appeal to those buyers by getting your own home inspection ahead of time and saving them a little hassle during the process. Any way that you, as a seller, can remove roadblocks from the purchase will help instigate offers and make your home stand out.
Initially, I was a little baffled at the survey results indicating that the average income of new home buyers was $200,000 (50 pecent of buyers). And a mere 5 percent were down in the more "normal" range of $60 to 75,000. But it turns out they are referring to the buying "party" and not the individuals.
This helps out both the "residential" and "vacation-home" sellers alike because that sort of income makes both purchases more feasible. And since we now know that most of these folks are going to be financing this purchase, this allows their purchase price "range" to sneak up a bit higher.
And with that higher price range comes a larger footprint. Today's buyers are looking for homes in the 2,500 to 3,000 square foot range. This makes perfect sense considering most of them are families.
"If sellers are considering any sort of renovation, converting that unused space into a bedroom or bathroom is a fantastic way to go," Badger Realty agent Michele Jordan said. "Making a home more suitable for more family members is a safe bet in any market."
Our current Airbnb guest is a 21-year-old from Michigan. He's a great guy and, like most teens and 20-somethings, has a mental block when it comes to turning off lights around the house. I found myself walking around the house and (echoing my dad when we were in high school) saying "I guess nobody is in this room, I'll turn off the light."
Today's buyers are very interested in homes that have smart technology already built into them (a full 81 percent). Thirty-seven percent noted smart lighting as their top pick (I'm sure my dad would fall into this group as well). Home security and smart appliances followed up with 22 percent each.
Just like smart lighting, other versions of energy efficiency are important to today's buyers. Sixty-seven percent are interested in HVAC systems that have been updated and optimized. Considering that heating and cooling make up nearly 50 percent of most homeowner's energy bills, this makes perfect sense.
Appliances were next on the priority list, but the numbers fall way off. The reality is these other appliances are important but don't have the same impact (on the budget) that the HVAC does. This is very helpful for sellers considering upgrades around the home. Choose the ones that are going to benefit you as well as entice the buyers the most.
Selling a home is a tricky but exciting process. These trends are not just for this year, but will likely stick around for a decade or so. If you are considering selling this summer or in the next year or two, take a peek at some of these and maybe adjust your remodeling plans accordingly. I think your potential buyers will appreciate it.