How Staging Is Key to Tackle the Emerging Generational Gap
By Patti Stern, Principal, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating
Every one is starting to make predictions already for the 2015 housing market.One of our own predictions: 2015 will continue to be a buyer’s market, particularly in certain areas where homes are older. While low inventory has plagued the market for years, a broader disconnect exists between inventory and buyer preferences.
As more Millennial’s (the generation under the age of 33), enter the market and baby boomers downsize, the generation gap between buyers and sellers will further drive market conditions.
Younger home buyers make up the largest groups of today’s consumers. According to a National Association of REALTORS® survey, Millennial’s and slightly older Generation X represent over 60 percent of today’s home buyers.
However, the bulk of the housing inventory over the next 15 years will come from retiring boomers who want to downsize and embrace a new lifestyle that doesn’t include their large suburban home. It’s expected that 20.1 million senior households will attempt to sell between 2015 and 2030, and according to University of Utah researcher, Arthur C. Nelson. What’s more, an estimated 7.4 million won’t be able to find people to buy the houses.
Younger buyers want an already updated home and with a large percentage of homes built before 1990, that poses a challenge for the market. Older, outdated homes give buyers a lot of reasons to cross the property off their list.
The ‘Senior Sell Off’
Sellers who adapt to the changing marketplace and understand that today’s buyers don’t have the same vision when it comes to updating a home will position their property in the market and stand out from the competition.
Staging continues to be more important than ever before — whether it is a $250,000 home or a $2 million dollar home — to preserve and in some cases boost a home’s value and get it sold.
Only 35.1 percent of home sellers nationwide think now is a good time to sell. But waiting may mean increased competition from similar style and aged homes. Staging and even low cost renovations can help sellers get top dollar in a shorter market time today so they don’t become part of the ‘seniorsell-off’.
“It’s important we offer sellers the resources to successfully sell their home now,” says John and Joanne Hoye with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in West Hartford, Conn. “Staging gets the properties looking their absolute best, boosting seller’s confidence in listing their home today rather than waiting. It also helps address inventory issues by bringing to market more move-in condition homes. Quality, well-priced inventory will ultimately drive a more balanced market that’s a win-win for our buyer and seller clients and staging can help us get there.”