Preparing Your Home for New Generations of Buyers

by Mark and Karen Caulfield

lightingIf you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, it’s a good idea to look at who may buy it. Data compiled by the National Association of Realtors shows that Gen Y (ages 34 and younger) comprises the largest share of home buyers at 32 percent, and Generation X (ages 35-49) makes up 27 percent of recent buyers. Compared to older baby boomers, younger boomers and the Silent Generation, those under 49 are currently the primary purchasers of homes.
Selling a home to younger generations can present a few interesting challenges. Younger buyers are looking for modern homes, and many older homes don’t have the updates these buyers are seeking. If downsizing is on your list of things to do, consider these five tips before you place your home on the market:

  1. Declutter. One of the most important steps of getting your home ready to sell is to remove all of the trinkets, knick-knacks and personal items that you’ve accumulated over the years. By removing these items, you give the buyer a better opportunity to imagine living in the home.
  2. Take Your Walls Back to Basics. Remove the wallpaper, and paint the walls a neutral color other than white. Leaving wallpaper up is one of the easiest ways to date a home. Painting the walls a neutral color will open up the space, and it allows the buyer to move into a space they don’t have to start painting immediately.
  3. Update Fixtures and Lighting. Say goodbye to brass and poor lighting. Fixtures and lighting are fairly easy to replace and they can have a dramatic impact on the age and size of a space. Bright, soft lighting can make a room feel larger. Brass fixtures used to be extremely popular, but now they immediately make a home feel dated.
  4. Replace Curtains and Drapes. If you have lace curtains or heavy drapes, consider removing them and allowing the natural light to flood the space. Buyers want rooms that feel open and airy, and certain types of window treatments can have an adverse effect.
  5. Clean the Carpets. If you’ve lived in a home for a long time, years of dirt and grime will eventually start to show and can lead to permanent damage. Having your carpets professionally cleaned can brighten them up, which can help the home show better.

    While most of these changes are cosmetic, making them will probably help your home sell quicker. Buyers tend to look for homes that are move-in ready, so doing a little extra work up front could pay off in the long run.

The Caulfields, a husband and wife real estate team at Coldwell Banker Advantage in Southern Pines, can be reached at 910-725-0220 or