Green home improvements that will attract buyers

Green home improvements that will attract buyers

Many people, when they put their home up for sale, want a sure thing — to sell quickly and for the most money possible. You might be thinking, but how do I go about selling my house fast?

The answer is simple, go green.

The truth is, you have to put in the effort to prepare your home for sale, which will in turn attract more high-quality potential buyers. Today’s younger generations are embracing eco-friendly living, and millennials are leading the pack.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, millennials make up the largest segment of buyers, holding strong at 34 percent of all buyers.  

When it comes to attracting buyers who are willing to pay top dollar, going green makes sense. A Nielsen study found that, of more than 30,000 millennials surveyed, 66 percent are willing to shell out more cash for conservation-conscious, sustainable products.

Below, you’ll find three key upgrades home sellers can make to attract more buyers — for a larger sale price.

1. Get ‘green certified’

If you live in a market where millennials are buying, getting green certified may help you sell for more money.

For example, cities such as Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles County saw green home values increase somewhere between 2 percent and 6 percent, some studies suggested as high as 7 percent.  

Green certification may also help a home sell faster by attracting more buyers with energy efficient benefits such as saving homebuyers money on their future utility bills or getting lower interest rates from lenders.

For more information, check out The National Green Building Standard. Its certification provides third-party verification that a home achieves high performance in six key areas: site design, resource efficiency, water efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and building operation and maintenance.

2. Raise energy efficiency

Becoming an Energy Star Certified home is a great way to show buyers your home is a cost-effective investment.

Any home, whether new or existing, that can be “field verified to meet all EPA requirements” can receive the label.

Meeting the national Energy Star Certification requirements can be a long process, as the website suggests that “it is unlikely existing homes will be able to qualify unless they are part of a gut rehab project exposing all insulated framing assemblies.”

If getting Energy Star Certified sounds like biting off a little more than you can chew, shoot for smaller improvements such as raising energy efficiency.

Millennials will appreciate upgrades like installing solar panels or wind turbines or minor repairs such as replacing insulation or weather stripping.

Attic insulation replacement was one of the top home improvement upgrades of 2017, and homeowners saw up to 107.7 percent return on the investment. Weather stripping is a fairly inexpensive DIY project that costs, on average, about $168 nationally.

3. Eco-friendly water systems

Another cost-effective upgrade that’ll add to the green appeal of any home is low-flow plumbing and eco-friendly water systems.

At an average of $303 nationally, the actual installation of low-flow toilets and faucets cost about the same as installing high-flow fixtures — the typical cost of hiring a professional licensed plumber.

However, the fixtures themselves differ in cost. Low-flow toilets are a bit pricier than regular toilets, so it’s not a bad idea to let your plumber purchase the fixture for you. A high-rated water-saving toilet can cost less than $250.

Costing between $5-$10 for the faucet and $8-$50 for the shower, low-flow aerators are even less expensive, and they can be installed sans plumber. Future homeowners will delight in saving 30 percent to 50 percent on water costs.

When it comes to attracting buyers, you can’t go wrong in preparing your home for sale to appeal to the largest, and one of the youngest, segments of homebuyers — millennials. These green upgrades will garner a home more attention and likely a higher price point.

Dani Vanderboegh is a senior editor for Inman, a leading news source for real estate agents and brokers. She has a master’s degree in editing from the Missouri School of Journalism.

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