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2020 Buyer Trends

Maureen Harmonay

I take my clients seriously. I take pride in doing a great job, and I love what I do...

I take my clients seriously. I take pride in doing a great job, and I love what I do...

Jan 22 4 minutes read

Another year has come and gone, and with a new year comes new goals.  Whether you've decided this is the year you're going to sell your home or if you're just considering it, you need to know what will motivate buyers to purchase a home in 2020. Here are the most important trends for this year and how they could affect your decisions as a seller.

Trend #1: Millennials are still on the move

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1997; the largest majority of them will turn 30 in 2020. This year, older millennials are  starting to think about settling down, having kids and buying their first home.  By the time we're halfway through 2020, home purchases by millennials will account for more than half of all mortgages taken out in the U.S.  That's more than all other generations combined.


What this means for sellers:

  • If you’re considering making upgrades to your home before you sell, know what millennials want.  The features at top of their lists include a patio, wood clapboard exterior, a laundry room, and a walk-in pantry.
  • Millennials are less concerned with how big a home is and more concerned with how far it is from their jobs, and what school district the home is in.  According to NAR, most millennials are unwilling to compromise on the quality of the neighborhood and schools when buying a home.
  • Almost all millennials search online when looking for a home, and 80% of them actually found their home on their phone. Be sure that your online listing photos are high quality and your listing can easily be found on the major consumer search websites.

Trend #2: Prices & iBuyers are on the rise

In 2018, home prices rose by 5%, in 2019 they rose by 3.3%, and in 2020 they are predicted to rise by 2.8% according to The Economic & Housing Research Group.  Even though that’s not earth-shaking, it’s still a steady increase each year. 

The iBuyer trend is also predicted to increase this year. An iBuyer is a real estate company that is willing to make a cash offer on a home and then close within days.  According to REAL Trends, Zillow is planning to expand in six new markets with their iBuyer business, Zillow Offers.


What this means for sellers:

  • With home prices still on the rise, you may make a profit on your home if you sell this year.  At the same time, it means that some buyers may be priced out of the market, which potentially means fewer offers. Make sure your home really stands out, and if you’re not in a hurry to sell, don’t be afraid to wait for the right offer.
  • Although "location, location, location" has been the slogan that has traditionally ruled real estate, some buyers are willing to compromise location for a more affordable option.
  • With iBuyer companies on the rise, it's important to know what you're up against.  iBuyers basically take the human experience out of selling your home and you're likely to get a not-so-good offer.  If you're not in an absolute rush, you'll do better by using an agent who will help you prepare your home and market it to a broad audience of prospective purchasers. 

Trend #3: Mortgage interest rates are on the decline 

Mortgage Interest rates dropped below 4% for some loans in 2019. Some say that for 2020, a 30-year loan should have a rate of 3.7%, and a 15-year loan will be at 3.2%.  There's no guarantee that rates will stay this low, of course.  Trade wars and tariffs could shift the economy, and have a negative effect on rates.  But if mortgage rates remain around 4%, this cheaper money may act as a strong motivator for ambivalent buyers.


What this means for sellers:

  • A lower interest rate environment will encourage more buyers to buy sooner rather than later.
  • If rates do increase, be prepared for your home to be on the market longer than you initially expected. 

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