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Ask McEnearney: What Can I Do To Make My Home More Attractive to Millennial Buyers?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Chris Perry and Kathy Hassett of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Chris at 610-733-0247 or Kathy at 703-863-1546, or by email at [email protected] or [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: As a seller, what can I do to make my home more attractive to millennial buyers?

Answer: Millennials, those born between 1977-1994, make up the second largest sector (24.2%) of the population in the United States. There are 78.8 million millennials in the U.S., and in 2020 they accounted for 38% of all homebuyers, a percentage that is only increasing. Some are buying their first homes, but others are now ready to move into a larger home in which to raise their family.

To maximize a property’s appeal, sellers should be tuned-in to what millennials are looking for and highlight or update those features before listing to reduce the number of days that the home is on the market and yield a higher sale price.

So, what exactly are millennials looking for in a home? What features will increase the competition among this sector of buyers? Millennials, especially in the D.C. Metro market, lead busy lives and want a move-in ready property that has already been updated. They desire and seek out homes with a design that provides easy flow between spaces, high-end and trendy finishes, and smart technology.

Kitchens and baths top the list of rooms that should showcase popular, on-trend finishes and design. Creating the coveted “open-concept” is the most dramatic design modification a seller can make to attract today’s buyer. Removing walls between the kitchen and living or dining rooms allow for greater connectivity. A large kitchen island or wide-counter peninsula that allows for better sightlines, additional workspace and bar-stool seating is preferred by buyers over separate defined rooms.

Stainless steel appliances continue to be extremely popular, as well as stone or quartz countertops in light, neutral tones. Millennials are drawn to grey or white cabinetry in the kitchen, with sophisticated, clean lines. Solid hardwood flooring throughout the main level also provides the warmth, easy maintenance and visual appeal that today’s buyers want.

Sleek design trends that create a spa-like atmosphere are what millennials look for in the bathrooms. Large, walk-in showers with rainfall showerheads, free-standing soaking tubs, and natural stone finishes are all great choices in a bathroom redo. On-trend lighting and bathroom fixtures will quickly and easily improve a bath in the way that millennial buyers will love.

As technology continues to develop, the home itself has become “smarter.” Sellers should consider installing tech-forward options such as a video doorbell, an electronic smart lock for the front door, and thermostats or light bulbs that are controlled with the push of a cell phone button or voice command.

Due to COVID-19, the home office and personal outdoor space have also become vitally important. The current work from home situation could become a long-term reality for millennials. Sellers can increase their home’s appeal by showcasing dedicated office space and areas for home-schooling.

But, when the workday is finished, millennials want to be able to escape to an outdoor oasis, whether that be deck space, a screened-in porch, or a well-manicured backyard. Sellers would be wise to spruce up landscaping and outdoor spaces to showcase the potential.

Kathy Hassett and Chris Perry, Realtors® with McEnearney Associates in Old Town, guide their clients to focus on the elements that millennial buyers look for in a home. Contact Chris Perry at 703-286-1204 or Kathy Hassett at 703-863-1546 today to help you prepare your home to appeal to the current market, maximize its value, and get it sold.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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