Studies show that green homes sell faster and for more money than homes without energy efficient designations. According to Freddie Mac research, homes with energy high efficiency ratings sold for 2.7% more on average compared to homes that did not.
The National Association of Homebuilders reports that as many as 90-percent of people shopping for a new home consider efficiency very important and that 61-percent of buyers would be willing to pay $5,000 more for a house if it meant lower utility bills.
Ways to Increase Your Home’s Efficiency before You Sell
- Before putting your home on the market, take the time to make improvements that increase your home’s energy efficiency.
- Seal drafty areas and make sure your insulation is up to industry standards.
- Appliances: Homeowners often sell their appliances together with the house. When it’s time to upgrade, purchase models that are Energy-Star certified to meet strict efficiency standards.
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs like compact fluorescents or LEDs.
- Upgrade your windows to double or even triple-pane models to keep the heat in and the cold out and vice versa in the summer.
- Install a tankless water heater.
- Install a smart thermostat to automatically find efficiencies and garner savings from your heating and cooling bill.
- Solar panels on the roof can reduce your electricity costs dramatically.
Getting an Energy Audit
An energy audit is an assessment of your home that takes a look at current energy consumption and then identifies energy efficiency measures to make your home more efficient.
Professional energy audits can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours to complete, depending on the size of your home. These professional auditors use a variety of tools to establish problem areas within your property and come up with a list of suggested measures and actions.
According to EnergySage (https://www.energysage.com/energy-efficiency/buyers-guide/home-energy-audit/), here is what a typical energy audit might look like in your home:
- An energy auditor will take a look at your building from the outside. He will examine a variety of components, including windows, walls, and eaves, to see if he can spot any major issues causing leaks into or out of your home.
- The auditor will check out the attic (if you have one) to take a look at a few things. Most importantly, he will inspect your insulation to make sure it’s correctly installed and applied evenly between your walls. He will also evaluate the holes where electrical lines run to see if they’re properly sealed, or could be a source of leakage.
- The auditor will examine your furnace and water heater. If either is on the older end, it is likely a candidate for an upgrade. He will also likely take a look at the filter in the furnace to ensure that it doesn’t require replacement and check connections in the ducts in your basement to try and locate any possible leaks where you may be losing heat and energy.
- Most professional audits will include a blower door test. This is a device that allows them to locate air leaks in the home. During a blower door test, all the windows and doors are closed, and they’ll use a blower door machine to depressurize the home. At that point, the auditor uses an infrared camera to see where cold air may be leaking into your home.
- Finally, audits usually include an inspection of the lighting in your home. If you’re using standard incandescent light bulbs, you can easily reduce your electricity costs by switching over to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).
Top Green Features Buyers Look For
One of the first things buyers look for when touring a home is Energy Star appliances. They know that these appliances cut down on energy bills and save homeowners money over time. Data from the National Association of Home Builders found that the most wanted green attributes in homes today are:
- Energy Star-rated windows (89% of consumers rank it as either “essential” or “desirable”)
- Energy Star-rated appliances (86%)
- Energy Star rating for the entire home (81%)
- Efficient lighting (vs. traditional light bulbs) (77%)
- Triple-pane insulated glass windows (77%)
- Insulation higher than required by code (73%)
- Water-conserving toilets (63%)
- Low-e insulating glass windows (62%)
- Tankless water heaters (61%)
- Solar water heating/electric system (59%)
Bottom Line: With so many homes on the market to compete with green features can help make your property special and stand out from the rest.
St. Petersburg Communities
If you’re interested in any of these communities or live in one of them and are thinking of selling, call Estelia today at 727.686.2859
Greater Pinellas Point
Historic Old Northeast
Historic Roser Park
Isla del Sol