How to sell a home to the ‘snowflake’ generation

  • First-time buyers need a patient, savvy agent who can help them navigate the realities of purchasing their first home.
  • Dump the expert advisor role and become an “interpreter” instead.
  • Provide them with down payment details, and make sure they are qualified to purchase the home they want, including lifestyle and utility costs.
  • Give them details about potential pitfalls of shopping online or attending open houses.

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The term “snowflake” has become a pejorative description for young people who cannot handle confrontation or opinions that differ from their own. How interesting that "snowflake" also accurately describes how truly vulnerable first-time buyers of any age can be when it comes to buying their first home. (You can’t search Google for what you don’t know that you don’t know!) I recently interviewed Terri Murphy of about her experience with her 20-something niece, who was ready to buy her first home. Murphy regularly speaks about "zapping the communication gap" between generations, and she highlighted some important statistics about millennials. Millennials (born between 1980 and 1994, but sometimes as late as 2004) are now the largest age cohort in the U.S. Nevertheless, only a relatively small fraction of this group has reached the median age of 32 for first-time buyers. What this means is that we should see a substantial uptick in the ...