Are you about to list a client’s home? Hold off on announcing it to the public and welcoming in potential buyers and their agents. First, it’s important to make sure you’ve made the necessary energy efficient upgrades. Why? Making energy efficient upgrades can help increase the value of the home and make it more attractive to buyers. So, before you put a house on the market, cross off all these items on your energy efficient checklist:
Conduct a home energy audit.
A home energy audit is the best way to discover how a home is using energy. An energy audit can also give you an idea of what upgrades to prioritize and where the problem areas are. You can hire a professional auditor or invest in HomeSelfe RE for reports you can share with your clients.
Visit the hardware store.
Start off small by visiting the hardware store and investing in low flow faucets and energy efficient light bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs use up to 80% less energy than regular bulbs, while low flow faucets use between 25-60% less water than standard models. Switching to energy efficient bulbs and faucets can be done without the help of a professional, so this is a great place to start.
Examine the windows.
Take a close look around the perimeter of the windows and doors to determine if there are any air leaks. If you spot any, buy caulk and a caulking gun to reseal the area around the windows. This can prevent air from escaping and lower the monthly utility bills.
Install a programmable thermostat.
Homeowners can preset a programmable thermostat to adjust during the hours no one is home so no energy is wasted on keeping the home comfortable. For example, buyers can set the thermostat to turn off during the hours they are at work, but then power back on right before they get home. This is an attractive feature to buyers because it can help save about 10% a year on heating and cooling costs if used correctly.
Insulate your water heater.
If the home has a newer hot water tank, it may already be insulated, but if not, make sure you check this off of your list before listing the home. An insulation blanket usually costs around $30, but it can save you up to 45% in standby heat losses, which translates to a 7-16% reduction in water bills.
Plant a tree.
Are your sellers planning on sprucing up their landscaping to improve curb appeal? If so, consider planting a 6-8 foot deciduous tree near the home. During the first year, this tree will provide coverage to the windows to prevent heat from making its way into the home. In about 5-10 years, the tree will be able to do the same for the home’s roof. The less heat that enters the home, the less energy the HVAC system will have to consume to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Check the appliances.
How old are the appliances in the kitchen and laundry room? If they’re outdated, the sellers will probably have to replace them prior to listing the home anyways, so why not choose energy efficient appliances? If your seller can’t afford to switch out all of the appliances, the first one on the list should be the refrigerator since it uses more energy than any other. Energy Star refrigerators use about 9% less energy than standard models, so this is a great feature to add to your listing.
Sellers may be hesitant to commit to making upgrades prior to selling their home, but be patient and explain how a little bit of effort can pay off in a major way!