Pay attention if you're planning to sell your house today or within the next five years, it's essential to recognize the increasing value buyers place on energy efficiency and eco-friendly features. WIth demographics tracking younger, and with many higher education institutions and research facilities in the Research Triangle Park, hence the name, we work with a particularly savvy group of home buyers. Many if not most of our buyers want to either upgrade for energy efficiency and sustainability or buy new properties who have less of an environmental impact. Here are some of the recent findings that support these trends and how our sellers can take advantage of this "climate".
Broker Insights to Sales Realities
According to the 2023 Realtors and Sustainability Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 48% of agents and brokers have observed consumers' growing interest in sustainability (NAR, 2023). Today's sellers should take note of this trend when listing a home and discuss highlighting sustainable features with their agents to attract today's buyers. Other experts emphasize the value of promoting green features and energy information to potential homebuyers including Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and VP of Research at NAR, who stressed that "Buyers often seek homes that either lessen their environmental footprint or reduce their monthly energy costs. There is value in promoting green features and energy information to future home buyers." (NAR 2023) Brokers, experts, and buyers are thinking green. Sellers should realize the benefits of incorporating green features into homes.
The Green Seller Strategy
So how can a seller go green? Making your home more appealing to today's buyers does not have to be a cost burden or require a complete home overhaul. First, you can work with a local Realtor to discuss small upgrades that maximize green appeal. Realtors possess the local knowledge of what buyers in your area are seeking. According to the same NAR report referenced above, the following green home features are particularly important to buyers at a national level:
Insulation of Windows, doors, and siding
Proximity to schools, work, and medical
A comfortable living space
A home's utility bills and operating costs (NAR, 2023)
Luckily for most Triangle area sellers, homes are located perfectly between jobs, schools, and medical facilities. Where home energy costs and insulation are concerned, there are surprisingly affordable options.
According to ENERGY STAR, these are some upgrades that are worth considering prior to selling. Even if you are not thinking about selling your home in the next five years, these are great ways to save, year round.
Heating and cooling: Maintain and service your HVAC system regularly to maximize its efficiency. Upgrading to a higher efficiency unit or a heatpump may be tax deductible.
Water heater: Upgrade to a heat pump or on demand water heater.
Smart thermostat: Install a programmable thermostat to regulate temperature settings efficiently.
Attic insulation: Proper sealing and insulation in your attic prevent air leaks and maintain a comfortable temperature. Adding insulation can be surprisingly reasonable in terms of cost and if your home is 10 or more years old well worth doing. We highly recommend having enough insulation added in to give you an R-60 rating. With summers growing increasingly warmer, attic fans are also well worth exploring. Check to see what rebates/incentives Duke Energy is offering.
Energy-efficient windows: Replace windows with energy-efficient ones to minimize heat transfer.
One other benefit to upgrading to more energy efficient homes is you could be eligible tax credits and rebates. In some cases the incentives can help offset a portion of the costs. Consult with an area realtor to discuss how some of these rebates are being utilized by your neighbors. Realtors have a wealth of resources and knowledge regarding home upgrades, rebates, and service providers. Additionally, they can provide insights into which upgrades would be most appealing to buyers. My NC Homes is a boutique agency that has over 50 years of experience in the Research Triangle Park. Contact a member of our team if you would like to discuss your selling future!
Posted by Larry Tollen on