Young couple and baby

Aside from the basics of decent price, desirable location and the home’s condition, have you stopped to consider what else a Madison homebuyer may be looking for? Better yet – what type of buyer your particular home appeals to? This is important information because it allows you to stage your home to subtly appeal to that buyer.

A good way to come up with the answer to this is by using buyer demographics. For instance, younger cell phone shoppers will head straight for the latest, most innovative smart phones, while older folks generally just want something that has a screen with big fonts and the capability to place a basic phone call. It’s the same with houses; younger and older homebuyers have their preferences as well.

Be aware that although the National Association of Realtors (NAR) claims that Millennials make up the lion’s share of the buyer’s market, their statistics are based on breaking up the slightly smaller Boomer generation into two categories: older and younger. In reality, when the two categories are combined, as they should be, the Boomer generation is only one or two points behind the Millennials when it comes to which generation buys the most homes. Higher-end homes, however, see far more Boomer buyers since they have the largest share of disposable income.


Just where is your home anyway? I’m willing to wager that if you live in a downtown Madison condo you are assuming that the buyer of your home will be a young person. Au contraire, my home-selling friend. The chances are much better that your city home will appeal to someone in the Baby Boomer generation, a “particular urban-savvy group of Americans,” according to Claire Trapasso on

In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors' 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, it’s the Millennials that are moving into the boomers’ homes in the ‘burbs. More than half of the younger generation’s buyers recently bought a home in the suburbs and only 17 percent bought in urban centers, according to the report.

So, if you live in downtown Madison, especially one of the more walkable areas, stage your home to appeal to Baby Boomers and if you live in the suburbs, you have your work cut out for you in trying to appeal to the very choosy younger generation.

Home characteristics

While the typical sold home was built in 1991, if your home was built around 1984 get ready for an onslaught of Millennial buyers. If it was built around 1995 it will appeal to those age 51 to 69, according to the NAR study.

A quick snapshot of the most commonly sold home nationwide shows us a 1,900 square-foot home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, built in 1991. The size of homes for buyers 36 to 50 years of age was typically larger, at 2,200 square feet, compared to buyers 35 years and younger who purchased homes at a median of 1,720 square feet. For buyers 35 years and younger, the median home was built in 1984; for ages 51 years to 69 the median was 1995.

If your home will be listed lower than Madison’s median home price it will be especially appealing to younger buyers. Priced more than the median and you can count on Gen X and Baby Boomers to buy it. In fact, the larger the Madison luxury home, the more likely it will sell to a member of the older generation, according to a large real estate firm’s studies.

Selling a fixer? Stage it for Millennials. Believe it or not, a survey by a different real estate conglomerate finds that nearly 30 percent of the Millennial homebuyers surveyed said that they prefer a fixer. After all, nearly 80 percent of those surveyed say they abhor “cookie-cutter” style homes, so buying a fixer allows them to customize the home to their lifestyle.

Madison homeowners who are selling homes with green features should ensure their agent markets the home to Gen X buyers. Seventy percent of them claim they’re willing to spend up to $5,000 over the value of the home if it has green features.

We’re happy to take a look at your home, determine its current market value and give you some tips on how to appeal to the group of buyers looking for a home like yours.



Posted by Jolenta Averill on
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