As a Real Estate Professional, you always want to get top dollar for your clients. What if we said you can sell homes at a higher price by helping buyers save money? We’re talking about green, energy efficient homes, and research is showing that buyers are willing to pay more up front to save money in the long run. Not only that, but green homes are selling faster. It’s a growing trend in the luxury market that can help you grow your business.
A Look at Some of the Numbers
• It was estimated that the green single-family housing market would represent 26-33 percent of the market by 2016.
• According to the National Association of Homebuilders, as many as 90 percent of people shopping for a new home consider efficiency “very important” and 61% would be willing to pay $5,000 more for a house if it meant lower utility bills.
• 11 percent of buyers of new homes bought because of green/energy efficiency reasons.
• The Earth Advantage Study in 2011 found that, on average, green-certified new homes sold for 8 percent more than non-certified green homes. Resales of existing green homes sold for an average of 30 percent more than conventional homes.
• A study conducted in Portland, Oregon found that green-certified homes sold 18 days faster than comparable non-certified homes.
Making the Green Recommendation
A lot of sellers are focused on their yards, kitchen counters and other cosmetic upgrades to improve the look of their homes. They aren’t necessarily thinking about green features. As your clients’ trusted real estate advisor, you can add value by suggesting a whole host of green upgrades that appeal to the luxury market like these:
• Upgrade windows to double or triple-pane models and replace exterior doors.
• If new windows and doors aren’t an option, re-seal existing windows and doors and any other drafty areas.
• Install solar panels on the roof. This is a significant upgrade that energy-conscious buyers are drawn to and can really pay off.
• Add insulation to attics and hot water pipes.
• Replace old appliances such as furnaces and water heaters with new, EnergyStar-certified versions.
• Install a smart thermostat that controls the house’s temperature even when no one is home.
• Replace all light bulbs with energy-efficient fluorescents or LEDs.
• Make sure all faucets are low flow.
• Repaint with non-toxic paint (no-VOC).
Marketing a Green Home
Green building features can be really attractive to prospective luxury homeowners as long as they understand what they are getting and how these features will make their lives better. Here are some ideas for presenting green building features in ways buyers find accessible and appealing:
• Make sure that all the green features are highlighted in the sales listing and avoid language that is too technical.
• Focus on the real-world benefits to the buyer (efficiency, cost savings) versus the environmental benefits, which are a bonus but not as appealing.
• Don’t forget about presenting the health benefits when living in a green home, such as better air quality.
• Show buyers the green savings with sellers’ utility bills or by projecting savings over a month or year.
• Also, show how energy efficiency can increase resale value down the road.
• Use wall placards throughout the home to point out energy-efficient features.
• Also, if your listing is protected by an American Home Shield® Home Warranty, be sure to remind prospective buyers of all the benefits this industry-leading coverage affords them.
There’s no denying that the green home trend in the luxury market is here to stay as people look to become more and more efficient and save money. Whether you’re a buyer, seller, or a Real Estate Professional, everyone wins when houses go green.
Remember, American Home Shield® is here to protect from breakdowns in many green homes. As the leader in home warranties with award-winning service, we offer superior coverage you can count on. Add an AHS® Home Warranty to your listing and grow your sales.
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