Understanding and Selling to Today’s First-Time Homebuyer

Written by Posted On Friday, 19 October 2018 11:41

Those interested in growing their real estate business might think that having the best inventory in a prime location is the key to success. While that is a factor, effective real estate marketing begins by establishing an understanding of your customer base. What does today’s modern homebuyer look like when they’re setting down this journey for the first time? Are granite countertops and walk-in closets still must-haves on their dream list or have those priorities shifted? What about square footage, acreage, access to schools and more?


Understanding the answers to these questions can help professionals in this space better cater to the needs of their clients and ensure their efforts are maximized. To that end, today we’re taking a look at a few characteristics that define the new crop of homebuyers and what is most important to them.


1. The Rise of the Millennial Buyer

Though they are a generation also known for eschewing tradition and leaning more toward eco-conscious options such as tiny homes and green smart products, savvy agents know that millennials are comprising the biggest market of home buyers today. Even in an environment where interest rates keep rising, this demographic shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, according to research, although mortgage rates grew more than .5 percentage points from the year prior, millennial home sales are still on the rise.


Still, this does not mean that the path to purchase is always smooth for them. In fact, there are still plenty of obstacles plaguing millennials as they seek to buy their first home. From high rates to student loan debts, finances tend to pose the biggest challenge. As such, motivated agents should do their research before meeting with someone from this group to make sure all financing options are thoroughly understood and discussed up front. Doing so can help take the hesitancy out of the situation and help buyers realize they have myriad options for funding this next major step in their lives.


2. Women and the Market Share

In the early 1980s, women comprised only 18.9% of the market share of homeowners across the country. Today, that number is more than 46%. Moreover, it’s not only women in general that are buying more homes than they were a few decades ago. Specifically, single women are buying more homes than ever before, with their market share reaching a record high in 2017 at 18.9%. According to this site, this trend is not uncommon and appears to be on an uptick. While it might be more challenging financially to take on a mortgage as a single person, it’s not impossible, especially when buyers have access to supplemental funds from friends and family members. Homeownership is also rising in popularity among the single population as rent prices continue to rise toward mortgage-level payments.


3. Suburban Areas Hold Top Spot

While cities will always hold a certain appeal for those looking to live close to entertainment, dining and work options, a new survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reveals that most modern buyers are looking to buy a single-family home located away from the city in a more suburban area.


From schools to land, there are many buyer priorities that might make this move an important choice. On the other hand, for those looking to settle down in a more metropolitan area, studies reveal that the most popular area in the country to do so is Mount Vernon, Illinois. When they’re ready to sign on the dotted line, most buyers are paying around $190,000 for their homes in both rural and urban locations.


What Does This Mean for Agents?

Moving forward, real estate agents can use industry data such as this to propel their marketing and outreach efforts to new heights. Going off of old information or outdated reports can render even the most dynamic campaign ineffective, as modern homebuyers are constantly changing in terms of priorities, capabilities, goals and requirements. Staying up-to-date with these trends and patterns is key to starting a conversation with today’s buyer that turns into a close down the road.

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