Finalizing the sale: What is important to the Baby Boomer?
First off, do your homework !
The main thing to remember about baby boomer real estate is that this group can be unpredictable. Some want bigger, some want smaller; some want to move to the country while others run straight for the city. If anything, the clearest defining factor of this market segment is that they can’t be stereotyped. As with all clients, ask lots of questions and get to know their unique needs – you may just be surprised by them.
TOD'S TOP TIP: Provide / connect client with reliable resources to make things easy for them. Chances are, this is not their first rodeo. They have been down the homebuying and selling path before. Provide a convenient list (hard copy and digital!) of everything they might need to help the process go as smoothly as possible.
- de-cluttering professionals
- donation centers who will pick up
- professional packers
- storage facilities
For the area they are looking to move, provide:
- utility company contacts
- electricians and plumbers
- cable companies
- gyms & fitness
- local social groups
- restaurants (give your personal recommendations!)
A valuable look inside the mind of the Baby Boomer looking to move:
Some want big, some want small
According to a national survey conducted by Trulia, 21% of baby boomers want a smaller house. They want to reduce the amount of time and money they spend on home maintenance, and they want to pay off their mortgages. According to a survey of 6,000 adults by Merrill Lynch, the average homeowner age 65 and older has about $200,000 in equity in their home, which is typically their largest asset. Many boomers want to free up that equity for travel, hobbies or savings for unexpected future expenditures.
At the other end of the spectrum, 26% of baby boomers said they wanted a bigger home than the one they are leaving. This group has no problem taking out a new mortgage on a home. While this trend does seem counter-intuitive, it supports another Trulia study conducted in 2014 that found that the amount of baby boomers and retirees living in multi-unit housing has continued to decrease.
Location and convenience
After living and working in a car-dominant society for the past forty or so years, many baby boomers are seeking out the walkable neighborhoods of their youth. Retirement communities offer just that—a resident can walk, bike or take a golf cart down to the shops, restaurants, gyms and pools. For those that choose to live in a high-rise retirement community, amenities and shops are often available on the ground floor or throughout the complex. The availability and proximity of services are a big draw for baby boomers, be it in a small town, a tidy inner-city neighborhood, or a planned retirement community.