It would be nice to think that the primary motivation behind homeowners wanting eco-friendly features in their homes is to save our planet. In actuality, the number-one reason homeowners want green features is economical—how having these energy-saving features affects their pocketbook.
Energy-efficient homes can result in substantial savings for homeowners, whether building a new home, renovating an existing one, or simply updating some features to improve a home’s efficiency. In addition to federal and state tax incentives and local utility rebates for installation of some energy-efficient features, utility bills are considerably lower in high-performing homes.
Did you know that homes with energy-efficient features sell more quickly and for more money? It’s true—but only if these high-performing homes are marketed properly by real estate agents. It’s important for us to identify green and energy-saving features and to market those features when listing a home. Although solar panels come to mind when thinking of a green home, there are many other green features which can be promoted in your marketing. These include low-E windows, low/no-VOC paint, water-conserving features, Energy Star appliances, overhangs, property orientation, and many more.
A good idea is to suggest your seller have a home energy audit, which is subsidized by APS and SRP and costs the homeowner only $99. If the audit shows faulty items such as leaky ducts, inadequate insulation or leaky windows, your seller may opt to improve these items to seal the home’s envelope, make the home more energy-efficient, and increase salability. After making the improvements, agents may want to suggest that a seller obtain a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) score. The lower the score, the better. And don’t forget about marketing green features when you fill out the MLS listing forms.
Consumer adoption of sustainability is rapidly growing. Will you be ready to guide your clients?
Kathy Maguire, REALTOR®
GRI, ABR®, GREEN, EcoBroker Certified®