Millennial homebuyers have specific desires that real estate agents must acknowledge.
It’s been trendy to bash millennials for their proclivities as a generation. There’s been a lot written about millennials:
- How much they’re tied to their electronic devices
- What they want in a job or career
- Why they’re seeking experiences over products
In terms of home ownership, millennials march to their own drummers too, something that has frustrated Realtors to no end. But the clash between real estate agents and millennials doesn’t need to be a pitched battle. There are millennial homebuyers that Realtors can serve — as long as real estate professionals understand how to present themselves and their services. So here’s some advice for both parties.
The Great Recession that hit in 2008 brought at least a temporary setback in housing costs, but it did further damage to people’s confidence in the housing market. While housing prices are generally on their way back from that dip, making homeownership an attractive investment once more may take some time. And first-time homebuyers, especially millennial homebuyers, remain wary.
Yet millennials are poised to become the largest home-buying population group in the country. Their age group — which in 2016 ranges from 20-something to about 40 — represents a prime home-buying demographic. Yet millennials are concerned about taking on debt. Many prefer to spend their money on trips to exotic locations rather than on a house with a fenced yard. But there has always been value and reward for owning a home, and that’s still true today.
For Realtors, the implications require a shift in focus. It’s no longer enough to let the market do the talking for you. You have to sell the idea of home ownership to young homebuyers who’ve seen their parents and friends devastated by the Great Recession. Their reluctance is a natural consequence of the market crash.
To win their business, real estate agents must persuade millennial homebuyers of the benefits of home ownership:
- Lower monthly payments
- Historically low interest rates
- Attractive first-time homebuyer programs
- Relatively safe investment for the future
- Freedom to be creative (both inside and outside the home)
Develop Good Listening Skills
As mentioned already, millennial homebuyers don’t want the same things as previous generations of first-time homebuyers. It’s important, therefore, that real estate professionals listen to the desires and fears of millennial homebuyers when guiding them through the process. If you can address both, you stand a good chance of connecting with them.
Communication skills continue to serve you well. Answer questions and tell them what to expect along the way. Reassure them if the process hits a snag, as it so often does. Millennials with good-paying jobs — and yes, they exist — may want a home they can grow into, instead of a more traditional first-time home that they have to sell when they decide to start a family. Make sure you show them homes that meet their goals, regardless what those goals are.
Start at the Beginning
Millennials have been reluctant to buy houses for many reasons. Many have stayed free of debt, choosing to buy only what they can afford and living frugal lives within their means. As a result, they haven’t built up any credit history. That’s a big but not insurmountable problem to overcome if they decide to buy a home.
Instead of frightening off millennial homebuyers, take them to GoPrime Mortgage, Inc. . (dba PrimeRate Mortgage Lending). Work with Zachery “Zack” Adam to get them on the right track. If Zack can’t help them, he can and will refer them to someone else. Prime Mortgage Lending of West Asheville is a community-oriented, one-stop shop, great for first-time homebuyers. Zack has a solid relationship with other professionals who provide the services he doesn’t.
After a visit with Zack, any first-time homebuyer will have a much clearer understanding of what it takes to get into a home. In many (if not most) cases, the dream of homeownership is within reach. For most serious homebuyers, Zack can define a path to make the dream come true.
Develop Trusting Relationships
First, be warned that buying a house is not the fun part of home ownership. It’s the part you have to wade through so you get to enjoy the house afterward. Buying a home is time-consuming and filled with the kind of details that can make your head spin. But you’re not the first to go through the process.
The good news is that there are professionals on your side who want to help you get into your new home. Zack Adam of Prime Mortgage Lending of West Asheville is just one. Your Realtor may be another. If you find a real estate agent you like and feel you can trust, then listen to the advice you get. But when professionals make promises, hold them to it. That’s how you can tell they’re trustworthy.
Roll Up Your Sleeves
Buying a home is a major investment. Even if you’ve saved up for a proper down payment, you still have to persuade a lender that you’re a good risk to pay back the rest. You might have a solid work history, but if you haven’t built up a credit history, you haven’t proven you can carry the debt. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to do some work if you really want a place of your own.
You’ll need to document your income and any debt you have (student loans, car loans, etc.). Be prepared for the paperwork. The lender wants to paint a picture of your financial health. It can be tiresome and troublesome, but in the end, often within 30 or 60 days, you’ll be able to close on that new home. And for all millennial homebuyers, that’s worth the effort.