Sustainability and Real Estate: What Agents Are Saying

By Kelly Leighton | May 30, 2023 | 2 min. read

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Realtors® agree that advertising a home’s energy efficiency is valuable to the listing.

According to NAR’s 2023 Realtors® and Sustainability Report, only 32% of Realtors® reported that their MLS has green field data. Of those who have that option, 37% use it to promote green features, 24% advertise energy information and 14% use it to promote green certifications.

PAR President Al Perry said that Bright MLS has several green options, including sustainability, energy efficiency and indoor air quality options, for its property listings. “We appreciate having green options because it gives Realtors® the opportunity to promote special features and upgrades that can drive buyer traffic to the properties,” he said.

Homebuyers have preferences on what features are most attractive when they are in the process of searching for a property. Windows, doors and sidings were important to 39%, followed by proximity to places, like schools, stores, etc. as well as a comfortable living space, both at 37%. A quarter cited the utility costs of the home, followed by commuting costs at 19%. Ten percent said efficient use of lighting, 8% said a smart home, 7% said green community features, 7% said landscaping for water conservation and 4% renewable energy systems.

Perry said, “We’re seeing that energy-efficient appliances, windows and doors have become more of the standard for new home construction and improvements on a home.”

More than one-third (34%) of agents agreed that solar panels increase the value of a home, while 17% said it decreases the value of the home. Around 30% said it had no impact. Thirty-five percent said understanding how solar panels impact a transaction is something that agents should consider, while 33% said agents need to understand the lending options for energy upgrades or solar installations. Additionally, 32% said agents need to be familiar with the value of solar panels on homes. Forty-eight percent of agents said consumers are at least somewhat interested in sustainability, with 7% being very interested.

Ultimately, 37% of agents said they are either extremely or very confident in their ability to find green lending products for their clients. Half of agents said they have been involved in a green sale in the past year, representing either a buyer or a seller.

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