Working with Baby Boomer Buyers and Sellers: What You Should Know
No two buyers or sellers are alike, especially if they hail from different generations.
Millennials, baby boomers, Gen Xers — they each come with unique preferences, research styles, and financial resources. And honing in on these generational differences? That’s what will set you apart from other agents in the area (as well as help you deliver 100-percent customer satisfaction every time.)
We’ve already covered the unique nuances of the millennial generation, so let’s move on to the next cohort: their parents. How do boomers differ from other groups of buyers and sellers? What do they like and dislike? How can you work to please them best?
Here’s everything you need to know about baby boomer buyers and sellers in the current real estate market:
They like it warm.
Boomers are heading for the nation’s hotter markets — places along the coasts and throughout the South and West. In fact, according to a recent Realtor.com study, the top 10 most popular boomer metros are all in these areas.
Phoenix is the hands-down most baby boomer-populated spot, followed by Riverside, California; Lake Havasu City, Arizona; Austin, Texas; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and North Port, Cape Coral, Naples, Miami, Punta Gorda and The Villages, Florida. (Yep, the Sunshine State claimed six of the top 10 cities!)
Within these cities, experts say boomers are gravitating toward golf course communities and 55-and-up neighborhoods — places with low maintenance and lots of amenities.
They stay on budget.
Out of all the generations, baby boomer buyers are the most likely to stay on budget when purchasing a home. According to Owners.com, 44 percent of millennials went over budget last year (and by $24K on average), while 34 percent of Gen Xers did (by about $14K). Boomers? They only went over 19 percent of the time and even then, by just $8,000.
They’re willing to put in the work.
Baby boomers may not be the most tech-savvy of the generations, but they’re willing to do the online legwork necessary to find the homes they love. According to Owners.com, nearly 60 percent do their own research online before contacting an agent — almost the same amount of Gen Xers and even more than Millennials.
… but they still want your help.
Though boomers are certainly willing to do online research, when it comes to the home search, they prefer relying on an agent. While Gen Xers say they default to online data and tools, boomers want their real estate agent to lead the way. In fact, 54 percent of boomer buyers said they relied on their agent the most during their home search last year.
They’re buying homes with their adult kids and older parents.
Multigenerational homes are on the rise — especially with boomers. A full 20 percent of buyers between 53 and 62 last year bought a home to share with family members of other generations. Many are doing it to care for aging parents or to help adult children move home. Whatever the reason, expect to see more of this trend in the coming years.
There are big differences between older boomers and younger ones.
Not all boomers are created equal. Those in the 53 to 62 range account for about 18 percent of recent buyers and have a higher household income than older boomers. They’re also more likely to have minor children at home, to move for a job relocation, and to buy a multigenerational property. When selling a home, most in these portion of the generation are looking for a home of similar size and price.
Boomers 63 to 71, on the other hand, are moving due to retirement and are often looking to be closer to friends or family. They’re also buying to downsize or reduce their costs and usually prefer to move the shortest distances.
They’re selling homes and moving on.
Millennials may make up the bulk of today’s home buyers, but most sellers? Those fall into the baby boomer generation. Boomers made up 23 percent of all home sellers last year, and as they retire, downsize, or buy properties for aging loved ones, those numbers are only going to grow.
Adjust Your Approach
As you can see, there are a lot of unique nuances when it comes to baby boomer buyers and sellers. Though they’re willing to use tech, they’re not 100-percent reliant on it, and they still very much prefer an agent’s guidance in their home search. Leverage this, adjust your approach to fit their unique needs, style and preferences, and you’ll have a happy customer on your hands come closing day.
Another great way to please those boomer clients? Refer them to a trusted mortgage lender. Send them to Embrace Home Loans, and we’ll make sure they’re cared for every step of the way.