Are you prepared to help clients buy or sell a ‘green’ home?

By Polinchock, F. Todd | April 25, 2014 | 3 min. read

I recently read an article from Realtor® Magazine that suggests the median sales price of homes with green, eco-friendly features is $47,600 higher than homes without any green features.

Todd Polinchock
Todd Polinchock

What is a “green” home, anyway? According to Realtor® Magazine, “green features include solar panels, low-flow faucets, dual-pane windows, energy-efficient appliances, strong environmental ratings, and certifications from programs such as Energy Star or LEED.”

Transforming a home into a green home can add value to a property, making it more desirable for environmentally conscious buyers and reducing overall energy bills. By making a few updates and quick fixes, sellers can add both enticing new features and legitimate value to a home.

Green up your appliances – Getting rid of that old refrigerator in the garage could save you as much as $150 a year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Appliance use comprises about 18 percent of a typical home’s total energy bill, with the fridge being one of the biggest energy users. If any appliances are more than 10 years old, the EPA suggests replacing them with energy-efficient models that bear their Energy Star logo. Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water than standard models.

Update the lighting – Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) use 66 percent less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and last up to 10 times longer. Replacing a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 32-watt CFL can save $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb.

Save water – Low-flow toilets and showerheads can reduce water consumption by as much as 50 percent, and modern versions see almost no reductions in water pressure. The upfront cost of buying and installing new bathroom fixtures is well worth the value these efficient toilets and showers can add to a home.

Install tankless water heaters – Because they don’t store water and reheat it consistently, tankless heaters can save up to 50 percent on a hot water bill. Even better, with tankless water heaters homeowners will never be without hot water, since the coils of a tankless heater warm the water as it passes through the system.

NAR’s Green Designation

NAR’s Green Designation was created to help Realtors® understand and market homes with green features, like the ones featured above. Adding the Green Designation to your title alerts homebuyers and sellers that you have specific expertise in marketing energy-efficient home properties.

NAR’s Green Designation is not part of a fad. Green real estate is fundamental market dynamics. Commuting costs and energy efficiency are considered more carefully in homebuying decisions. As energy costs continue to rise, this issue will stay top of mind for clients.

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