How Home Sellers Can Attract Buyers with Energy Efficient Features
With the cost of utilities going up many home buyers are more aware of–and interested in–energy efficient features in the homes they buy. A recent story in National Mortgage Professional emphasized the need for energy efficient homes to compete for buyers.
“Over 80 percent of housing is more than 20 years old,” said Joe Dahleen, senior vice president at Primary Capital Mortgage. “This is important for anyone thinking of moving up or moving down. Their houses are going to need to have energy efficiency improvements to get the right buyers.”
You can gain an edge over similar homes for sale in your area by making yours more energy efficient.
According to a survey done by the National Association of Home Builders, 72% of home buyers report energy-efficient features in a home would influence their purchase decision and 91% want an Energy-Star rating for the whole home. Energy Star ratings aren’t limited to appliances. Building materials, office equipment, and electronics can also earn the Energy Star rating.
One of the easiest ways to give your home an edge over competing homes is to install new energy efficient appliances. Buyers like the idea of having new appliances that will save them money and they know they won’t have to replace in the near future.
When your listing agent puts your home on MLS, there are several options to check off to show the home is energy efficient, such as energy efficient windows, heating systems, or Energy Star appliances. So when buyers search for homes that are energy efficient, your home will show up.
(to view these options when listing your home, click image below to enlarge)
Start by Getting a Home Energy Audit
To find out where to make improvements in your home’s energy consumption, schedule a free home energy audit, also known as an energy assessment. A specialist will visit your home and spend about 2 hours looking the home over and then will give you a customized list of energy-saving recommendations for your home.
Simple Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Energy improvements not only help attract buyers, it’s also a way for you to save money while you’re still living in the home. You don’t have to do a complete remodel or invest in all new appliances to make your home more energy efficient.
Here are some energy efficient upgrades you can do now:
- One of the most cost effective—and least expensive– ways to save on energy use is to install programmable thermostats. You can save as much as 10% a year on heating by simply turning down your thermostat during the hours you are not home.
- Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F. You can save $12-$30 annually for each 10 degrees of reduction.
- Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use — TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power.
- Seal air leaks. Did you know that the average home has enough air leakage to add up to a two foot square hole? That’s like leaving a medium sized window open 24 hours a day! Look for cracks and holes in the mortar, foundation, and siding, and look for leaks around windows and doors.
- Energy for lighting accounts for about 10% of your electric bill. Examine the light bulbs in your house and consider replacing inefficient bulbs with more energy efficient bulbs.
Rebates and Incentives for Homeowners
Most states have incentives for upgrading certain features in your home to make them more energy efficient.
Right now there are rebates available for Energy Star refrigerators and freezers as well as incentives for insulation for qualified homeowners. For more information on these or view incentives by state.