It Pays to Go Green

It Pays to Go Green

Green homes can sell faster and at a higher price than comparable, conventional homes, and buyers are willing to pay more for the long-term savings they offer. Energy efficiency is one of the most sought-after features for home buyers, who are becoming increasingly more aware of the benefits of green and energy-efficient practices.

Home buyers are interested in green features

A 2017 NAR survey found that 71% of agents and brokers said promoting energy efficiency in listings was very or somewhat valuable. If your listing includes any of the top features that buyers want, you should be promoting those. According to the survey, buyers informed their real estate agent or broker that the following features were very important:

A comfortable living space 71%
Proximity to frequently visited places 40%
Windows, doors, and siding 39%

The above three items could easily become areas where green or energy efficiency could be highlighted, when applicable, in your listing’s promotional information.

Additionally, the survey said these six features were “very important” to buyers when looking for a new home:

Heating and cooling costs 36%
Commuting costs 32%
Energy-efficient appliances 23%
Energy-efficient lighting 22%
Environmentally friendly community features 14%
Landscaping for energy conservation 10%

All of these features can also be highlighted in your promotional materials where applicable to your listings.

Sellers should add green features to their home

For sellers, having energy-efficient upgrades can increase the value of a home by up to 9%! Buyers want the results without the work, and they’re willing to pay a little extra for already installed Energy Star qualified commercial or residential appliances and green features built into the home.

By employing energy-efficient practices, NAR surveyed homeowners have discovered savings of 20% to 30% on energy bills and up to 30% savings on water bills. The average homeowner spends approximately $3100 on utilities annually. Based on these figures, the average family could save up to $930 every year.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, as many as 90 percent of people shopping for a new home consider efficiency “very important” and 61% of those would be willing to pay $5,000 more for a house if it meant lower utility bills.

For that reason alone, home sellers and real estate agents should highlight any and all green features when listing a home for sale.

Small upgrades can go a long way to improving the selling power of a home

Green building features and energy-efficient appliances can be very attractive to home buyers. Here are some ideas for presenting green features to buyers in listing presentations, property flyers, and MLS listing information:

  • Highlight all the green features and ENERGY STAR® appliances in the sales listing.
  • Incorporate HERS ratings into listing information.
  • Focus on the actual benefits to the buyer such as efficiency, cost savings, and tax incentives.
  • Provide the buyer with the sellers’ utility bills and show projected savings over a month or year.
  • Show how energy efficiency can increase resale value down the road.

Staging a home to promote green and energy-efficient features

Conduct a home energy audit to identify the overall efficiency of a home and discuss with homeowners what they can or should upgrade before it goes on the market.

  • Provide the report to prospective home buyers
  • Create a list of energy-efficient features that you can easily point to at showings
  • Switch to energy-efficient lighting
  • Install a programmable thermostat
  • Upgrade to ENERGY STAR products
  • Improve energy efficient curb appeal
  • Upgrade to double-paned energy efficient windows or install solar film to help regulate light and heat
  • Weather-strip gaps in window and doors to improve efficiency

Use wall placards throughout the home to point out these features so prospects can easily see them during showings.

SOURCE: NAR Sustainability Report 2017, Homeselfe.com, HGTV.com, National Association of Home Builders

 

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