Generation Y, or the Millennials, is represented by a cadre of more than 51.5 million potential and future homebuyers born between 1979 and 2001, according to a Wells Fargo study. There are 6 million more Millennials reaching the prime home-buying age than Baby Boomers did in 1977.
What makes this generation different – and the focus of a paradigm shift for Realtors and sellers – is what its members value and what they expect from a real estate transaction.
Unlike Baby Boomers (born before 1964), Generation Y and to some degree, Generation X (born 1964-1979) doesn’t value the expertise of a Realtor in the same way. While Gen X and Gen Y want to work with a competent agent, they view the agent as a conduit to access information and not as an all-knowing expert.
Simply put, Gen X and Gen Y want to be in charge of their own decision-making. They are very comfortable with technology and want to conduct their own research, as well as consult with friends for their input and opinions.
For sellers, Gen X and Gen Y represent a tremendous opportunity. While they are young, they are optimistic about the market and eager to do what it takes to become first-time homeowners. Armed with technology and information, they will likely move forward quickly with the home-buying process if their finances are in order and their questions are resolved.
The reality is that most buyers today, regardless of generation, appreciate the chance to feel involved and engaged in the home-buying process. The best Realtor-client relationships have evolved into a model where everyone works together, with the shared goal of helping the client make the best decision possible.