House with sold sign

According to USA Today, 2018 is shaping up to be a seller’s market more than ever before. This is especially true for anyone selling a “starter” home.

The lowest point of the housing market was in 2012, and we’ve seen it steadily get better over the last six years. Now, many people have jobs but the inventory is still tight, so buyers are getting creative to afford homes.

One-third of buyers are spending more than the upper limit of what they thought they would spend to buy a home - an average of over $16,000 - according to an Owners.com survey. This is for two reasons:

  • Home prices went up 6.2% on average between January of 2017 and January of 2018.
  • Bidding wars are driving up prices because of the low inventory.

Guess who is paying the most over their set budget?

The answer is Millennials.

Put it another way: Millennials are the “most likely to splurge” to the tune of $25,000 on average. Not all of them, but around 40%.

Compare this to 34% of Gen Xers by $13,000 and only 19% of Baby Boomers by $8,000 on average.

The fact is that Millennials are still first-time home buyers. They are coming from a rental or living with relatives, compared to their older counterparts, who can stay in the home they are in until they find something in their price range. In addition, they are also unpracticed at buying a home, so less likely to know what constitutes a realistic budget.

Good News for Sellers

This could be great news for sellers, although it doesn’t mean your house will automatically attract a bidding war. A home priced too high for its area is still likely to sit on the market unless it has clear amenities and updates the other homes around it don’t have.

And there are concrete things buyers are looking for this year when they are looking for an updated home. The top answers might surprise you.

According to a Zillow survey of 4 million home sales in the last two years, here is a list of amenities that made homes top sellers (that is, the homes with these amenities sold for this percentage above asking price):

  • Steam shower (29%)
  • Professional-grade appliance (29%)
  • Pizza oven (26 %)
  • Pet shower (25%)
  • Outdoor kitchen (25%)
  • Entertainer or prep sink (25%)
  • Shed or garage studio (24%)
  • Heated floors (24%)
  • Meditation room (24%)
  • Wine fridge (22%)
  • Chef’s kitchen (21%)
  • Craftsman style (21%)
  • Herringbone or parquet floors (21%)
  • Free-standing tub (21%)
  • Solar panels (21%)
  • Coffered ceiling (20%)
  • Outdoor fireplace (20%)
  • Carrara marble (19%)
  • Home theater (19%)
  • Farmhouse sink (19%)

That’s right; buyers these days are looking for wellness-related features like heated floors and free-standing tubs, outdoor cooking spaces, and mudrooms with pet showers.

These things signal to potential buyers that your home is recently updated and will not need any changes or remodeling. It also helps buyers to be able to see themselves living and entertaining in the space.

This desire could translate into more money for you on the other end - and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Investing in some paint and simple staging could change a bedroom into a meditation room in a day.

Takeaway

With inventory low and more buyers willing to pay more, you could be looking at a nice profit on your home if you were thinking about selling this year. Some minor updates could be all you need!

If you are considering putting your house on the market, please give us a call. We would be honored to help!

248-348-7200