How many times have you purchased a new home without reviewing a 12 month history of the utility bills for the home? If I were your agent, the answer would be "NEVER"! As a Certified EcoBroker. I have learned to market one of a homes most valuable features, its monthly expenses! In my opinion, many agents miss the mark on this issue. How many times has a new homeowner received the shock of their life in the form of an overwhelmingly high gas bill during the dead of winter or a sky high electric bill during the summer time when the air conditioner is running at its highest level?
It is very important for a prospective buyer to understand that the seller has taken the necessary precautions to guard against the highs and lows of a utility crisis. This could be a major selling point when buyers are making a decision between two very similar homes.
There are several ways that sellers can take advantage of energy efficient features to increase the value of their home, some of these items include:
1. Programmable Thermostat - lowers your heating and cooling expenses by 30-40% annually
2. Energy Efficient Appliances - decreases consumption of electricity, gas and water up to 50%
3. Energy Efficient Windows - decreases heating loss or gain and lowers annual heating costs up to 40%
4. Energy Star Certified products - homes tend to be 20-30% more efficient and can generate a federal tax incentive up to 25%
5. HERS index - A rating system for the Home Energy Rating System
6. Insulation with a greater 'R' value - could increase your heating savings by 20-30% monthly
7. Lighting - CFL's and LED's offer an average savings of $30 over the life of the bulb.
8. Site Design - including natural daylight, landscaping and shade trees as a factor on natural heating/cooling
9. Plumbing - low flow toilets, showers and faucet aerators
10.Indoor Air Quality - increased ventilation, low VOC paint, lead
If you'd like to get an edge on your competition, make sure you hire an agent who is well educated in these area's and can orchestrate a proper marketing approach to making your home stand out in a sea of similar homes. An agent with the designation of Certified EcoBroker is your best option but if you can't locate someone in your market, simply interview each agent by asking what features they would highlight to showcase your home's Energy Efficiency and 'Green' attributes.
In the Indianapolis real estate market, Andrea Vadas and The Homeland Team with Keller Williams Indy Metro NE are the experts in the subject of Green Real Estate. However, if you are not in that area but would still like to consult with them about how to make your home more attractive to environmentally conscious buyers, contact http://www.thehomelandgroup.com/ and they will find an agent in your area that is qualified in Green Real Estate or call 317-863-4323. Andrea Vadas is a 10+ year veteran in the Real Estate Industry having worked in such area's as Mortgage, Investing, Construction, Title, Appraisal, Home Warranty, and Brokerage Management. Read her weekly real estate blog at http://www.thehomelandgroup.com/