Buyers and sellers must take a number of factors into consideration before deciding to buy or sell a home. Sellers have to think about how much they will be able to get for their home, whether now is the right time to sell, and where they will go after it’s sold. Buyers on the other hand have to think about how much space they need, where they want to live, and if they’re financially ready to purchase a home. But, one thing that both buyers and sellers may be forgetting about is the energy factor.
That’s right, energy efficiency plays a huge role in the real estate process, so it’s important to understand why it matters for both buyers and sellers.
Buyers are interested in getting the best deal possible on their new home, and that goes way beyond the purchase price of the home. They also want to know how much their monthly expenses will be if they do decide to move in. This means energy efficient homes are much more attractive to buyers, since these homes are designed with upgrades that cut back on energy use and therefore lower energy bills as well.
While some buyers are interested in green homes because of the potential to save money, others have a much bigger goal in mind: to save the environment. This is especially true of younger buyers who tend to be more environmentally conscious than others.
If you’re working with a green-minded buyer, you should be prepared to answer questions regarding each listing’s energy upgrades. Does the home have any Energy Star appliances? What areas are insulated? Are there any “smart” features? What’s the average electric bill? These are all questions your buyer may ask—and the answers could help them decide whether or not to make an offer.
Buyers aren’t the only ones who should be concerned with a home’s energy efficient—sellers should be, too. Because buyers are so interested in finding an energy efficient home, sellers should be motivated to make energy upgrades that will increase the home’s value and make it more attractive to buyers.
To determine which energy upgrades need to be made, conduct a home energy audit. An audit is designed to show you how your home is currently using energy, where it is being wasted, and how it can be improved upon. At the end of the audit, sellers will receive recommendations on which improvements are the most important. For example, an audit may suggest you need to add insulation or buy a new appliance in order to increase your home’s energy efficiency. The final decision is yours, but if you follow these suggestions, your home could become more appealing to potential buyers.
In today’s market, buyers and sellers consider many other factors besides just the size and price of the home. Energy efficiency is expected to become a priority for many more buyers in the next few years, so it’s best to begin learning about it now so you can continue to provide exceptional service to all of your clients now and in the future.