Green: the Lean, Clean Sellin’ Machine
With the media’s homogenizing of the suffering national real
estate market starting to affect our local real estate market, sellers need to
find creative ways to make their home stand out from the crowd in an appealing
way. The current market conditions are
not near as bad as the doom & gloom that’s being spewed by the anchors on
the evening news, HOWEVER, it’s not the same market as it was in recent years. We’re starting to hear more about “home
staging consultants” and buyer incentives such as
Purchasers are increasingly seeking eco- friendly, energy-efficient homes, and that trend will only continue to grow now that energy prices are rising, the economy is slow, and concerns over global warming are rising. While it may seem unrealistic, expensive, or flat out impossible in terms of preparing your home to sell, there are plenty of simple things that can be employed to make your home eligible for marketing green features.
The following are just a few things that can be altered in an existing home to increase the energy efficiency, thus increasing the marketability:
- Programmable thermostats help to maximize energy savings without sacrificing comfort by simply setting back the thermostat while away from the home or during the night.
- Installing rain barrels to collect rainwater and use in gardens or to water house plants.
- Switching over to compact fluorescent light bulbs is a real “no-brainer.” CF bulbs use about ¼ the energy of normal light bulbs and CF bulbs can last up to 10 times as long as standard bulbs.
- Make sure you use low VOC paints (volatile organic compound) – healthier for the family and durable as well!
- Install energy efficient appliances and illustrate the “lifecycle cost” – the reduced operating quickly earns back the potentially higher purchase price.
- Install low-flow showerheads & low flush TOILETS. Toilets are typically the single largest use of water inside of a house. Cut back by installing an ultra-low-flush toilet. After toilets and clothes washing machines, showers are next up as residential water hogs.
- Have a composting system in place. Don’t throw out all of those scraps; save landfill space & make your own rich potting soil.
- Have an energy audit done prior to listing and make changes/adjustments as suggested by the auditor
- Consider a tankless water heater. You get instantaneous hot water, no waste while hot water slowly cools in the tank, and extra storage where the water heater used to sit.
- Install aerating faucet attachments. These easy screw-on upgrades aerate your water so that you get the same cleaning power with much less water.
- Make sure your windows & doors don’t leak air.
- Make sure you have sealed and insulated heating/cooling ducts.
Needless to say, these are sensible renovations/alterations regardless of whether or not you are preparing your home to sell. Whenever possible, involve children in these changes and capitalize on these unique “teachable moments.”
- contributed by Skip Slocum, REALTOR®