In addition to the usual questions agents ask to determine motivations, needs and wants, neighborhood, and price range, counseling a buyer who wants to go green should include questions such as:
- What is the buyer’s motivation for seeking a home with green features? Things to consider are:
- Cost savings on energy
- Health-related factors
- Personal lifestyle quality
- Consistency with sustainability values
- Potential investment opportunity
- Seems like the newest trend
- Combination of the above
- How important are the following elements to your buyer?
- Proximity to public transportation
- Walkability to area restaurants, shopping, jobs and services
- Closeness to parks, open spaces, connections to nature
- Availability of bike and walking trails
- Preference for a particular aesthetic look and feel
- Preference for a green-certified home
- Interest in doing green renovations or retrofits on an existing home or building
In addition to energy-savings benefits, help buyers recognize other potential benefits of green features. In general, healthier houses and buildings incorporate a variety of long-term environmental benefits, as well as immediate benefits such as lower monthly cost, improved resale value, greater comfort, and quiet, improved indoor air quality, greater safety, greater durability, and less maintenance.
If your buyers cannot find a home with the ideal desired green features, encourage them to find a home they love and then have the home retrofitted. A retrofit ensures the maintenance and preservation of a home while reducing overall energy consumption. It also ensures that the whole envelope of the home is efficient while enhancing overall health and air qualities of the home.
Encourage your buyers who would like to retrofit an existing home—in order to include green features—to look into an energy-efficient mortgage. Not all mortgage lenders offer EEM products. Ask your preferred lender if they have EEM mortgages, and if they do not, feel free to contact me for a referral to one who does, or check out the Green Resources tab of my website.