|Green Home Sellers’ Guide: How to Sell an Eco-Friendly House|
|Friday, 23 March 2012 10:00 | Written by Maggie Baxter | Article|
Spend just one evening watching shows on a home-improvement cable channel and you’ll get lots of advice on how to quickly sell your home for top dollar. Such advice includes hiring a realtor knowledgeable about your area, competitive pricing and staging to sell. But what about selling a green home? Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to sell eco-friendly real estate.
Choose Green Upgrades That Sell
When replacing an appliance or making minor improvements to prepare your home for sale, “Go for the most efficient option you can afford,” says Columbus, Ohio, realtor Cindy Dunigan. “Anytime you need to replace something in your home, it’s an opportunity to make an eco-friendly choice.”
She encourages sellers to pay particular attention to greening their furnaces, hot-water tanks, windows and appliances. Energy Star ratings are helpful in finding the most efficient appliances. “Efficiency is key,” says Dunigan. If you can afford to replace your outdated hot-water tank with a tankless system—a definite appeal to buyers—go for it. Otherwise, buy the most efficient replacement tank that matches your budget.
Show Buyers the Money
Such eco-friendly upgrades may not be a top priority for most buyers, but when pointing it out, you pique their interest. Dunigan confirms, “I’ve had only one buyer include energy efficiency as one of their top priorities. But from a marketing standpoint, you need to highlight all of the green things you’ve done to your home.” Only then will your typical buyer see the value.
Consider Your Market
“If you’re in a progressive area like California or Arizona where eco-friendly homes are more common, you can probably do a lot more green upgrades and still appeal to a wide pool of buyers,” says Dunigan. “Otherwise, major eco upgrades in places like the Midwest could get your home branded as a ‘unique home’ and therefore significantly limit your buyer pool.” Remember that your primary objective is to sell your home, not necessarily to sell it to a green buyer.
Work With a Green Agent
“You can schedule a listing appointment with a realtor up to six months in advance of the time you’d like to put your house on the market,” says Dunigan. This will provide plenty of time for you to react to a comparable analysis (which will help determine the value of your home for pricing purposes) and prepare your home for sale. Don’t know how to find a green realtor? Try Realtor.com; the site’s “Find a REALTOR” search allows you to narrow your options to realtors with the professional designation of GREEN, which indicates advanced training in green real estate.
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