Thursday, June 3, 2010

How GREEN is your Real Estate Listing?

When the real estate market becomes really challenging, as it's been in our market since late 2008, we as Realtors and Sellers need to look at listing properties from other perspectives.  It's not just about the "handsome wainscoting" anymore (although really, who doesn't LOVE beautiful woodwork?)  We've come into a time where we need to also discuss the features that will offer the buyers benefits such as lowering utility costs, greater comfort, and saving money.  Not all buyers are on board with the social responsibility of living greener, but I've yet to meet one who wasn't interested in the money-saving aspect of it.

Putting aside what I would consider "extreme GREEN" features for our marketplace (solar or wind power, geo-thermal) let's consider the more common (& less pricey) GREEN features we might already have that we can work to our advantage.

"Energy-efficient" tops my list for favorite GREEN real estate terms.  You always want to be able to substantiate that claim.  You can offer the buyer copies of your utility bills compared to those of similar-sized homes in the area, which I think you can get from CL&P or your utility company.  Some energy-efficient features you may have and need to highlight:

  • House is filled with natural light
  • Energy Star appliances
  • On demand hot water system
  • Multi-zone heat for better heat control
  • Programmable thermostats 
  • Newly insulated attic
  • Great cross-ventilation that helps with cooling
  • CFL bulbs  

"Healthy home" is another hot topic.  I just dealt with this with buyers who closed on a house last week.  Their concern was that the house did not contain toxins or allergens.  We also think about the problems associated with lead, mold, radon & pesticides.  While it's hard to avoid those altogether, there are some choices to be made that can be GREENER than others.

  • Hardwood floors or all natural low VOC carpet choices with no/low VOC adhesives
  • Smoke-free or pet-free environment
  • HEPA filter
  • Lead paint encapsulated or removed
  • Asbestos removed
  • Pesticide-free lawn 
GREEN features aside, one thing I ALWAYS stress to home sellers in any market is the need for their home to be super CLEAN.  Not just tidy, but CLEAN.  Wash those windows so that natural light can shine through.  If you have pets, keep the house dusted, vacuumed, and litter boxes clean.  Dust the ceiling fans, make your appliances shine, and please remove the clutter from the counters.  Trust me on this :)

1 comment:

katndylan said...

I have kept my new home pesticide free indoors by using the Pest Offense. i tried all the others first cuz they were cheaper, but it turns out this one is the only one who has done a University test to prove it works as well as the only one with NO FTC ACTIONS. The City of Daytona beach, Florida uses it in all their leisure services buildings too.