Real Estate: What to do while "Waiting for Millennials" by Dorothy E. Curran, Weichert, Realtors Madison and Post


Our Lower Fairfield County, CT Spring Market IS moving, but most generational First-Time-Buyers aka "Millennials" are not showing up for this year's party.


We've all heard why...Tuition debt, delayed life decisions, delayed householding, delayed marriage, delays in having children, delays in buying a home.


The ones who are buying (and they have started the trickle of demand) typically have low/no tuition debt and/or family-funded down payments behind them.


The rest will show up. In fact, they are poised to be a major purchasing force in the market. Just not this year.


SO...If you're a SELLER in the Spring 2019 Market, what do you do?


First, listen to your Agent and price realistically. PRICE is a decisive factor for those out shopping in this Buyers' Market. And, by the way, if they are not Millennials, who are they? Surprise! Most are Baby Boomers selling or buying to downsize. To a lesser degree, they may be Gen X, trading up.


Either way, remember that--if they are taking a haircut on their sale--they have less to spend on their purchase.


For those Sellers who wish to dig in their heels on price, consider that your carrying costs include utilities, landscaping/pool, ongoing maintenance and property taxes, along with the risk of deferred maintenance becoming urgent repairs. Add up those numbers. Think carefully. Price accordingly.


Second, if your property is listed and not selling, realize that your Most Probable Buyers (Boomers; maybe Gen X; possibly Millennials), are looking for VALUE. For most, in today's market, that means a well-located, well-maintained property with no impending surprises. What to do? Look hard at your property vs. your competition. How can you ADD VALUE to make your home stand out? Cosmetic improvements or light staging may go a long way. However, if your roof is about to leak, and chances are good that you are not going to fool a Buyer's inspector anyway, fix it now. After all, you may be spending another winter in your home, so you might as well enjoy peace of mind.


Besides, if you're a Boomer parent with a Millennial still finding their way, or a Gen X with a Gen Z likely to return home after graduation, you may find it cheaper to carry your nest with your offspring in residence than to subsidize separate rents for them.


Just remember, those Millennials WILL be in the market soon, so it's wise to be ready with the best possible price and value. When is soon? The trickle has begun, but I don't see "the wave" happening until the Spring, 2021 Market, AFTER the November, 2020 National Elections.


Finally, who wins in a Buyer's Market? The Buyers! Alert Sellers who prefer to be Buyers (or Renters!), and price to sell, may offload needless carrying costs and realize better purchase prices than will be possible next Spring Market. That's how Sellers win...