In today’s real estate market, selling your home can seem like an impossible task. You can plant fresh flowers and spruce-up sidewalks to make a good first impression with buyers, but these days, people expect a little more when they’re looking for a new home.
You can make several eco-friendly improvements that will increase your house’s appeal to both environmentally-aware and budget-conscious buyers. With improvements such as solar panels and Energy Star appliances, your home will be exponentially more attractive to buyers and may even spend less time on the market.
Change any appliances that will be included with the house to Energy Star-rated models. These appliances are governmentally certified as energy efficient and reduce both energy use and monthly bills. It’s particularly important that your house’s heating and cooling systems meet Energy Star standards as these two systems are the biggest consumers of home energy and are also the most likely to remain with the home for many years. In 2009, more than 90 percent of buyers said that they would be considering heating and cooling costs in their buying decision, so upgrading these systems is a good investment.
Adding insulation will help you get the most out of your energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. After all, efficient heat and air conditioning are meaningless if your home’s temperature is constantly vacillating due to poor insulation. Of course, adding insulation to existing walls is a complicated job. A better choice is to focus on insulating the attic and crawlspace. Even insulating these relatively small areas will help your home remain at a consistent temperature and will reduce your home’s energy costs. Buyers, of course, will be looking for these decreased costs.
Add a programmable thermostat
Programmable thermostats allow you to pre-select different temperatures for various times of the day. For example, you can program the air to turn off while you’re at work and to turn back on a few minutes before you arrive home. Programmable thermostats mean that you no longer have to choose between wasting money to run the air all day and coming home to a boiling house. These devices reduce monthly energy bills by about 10 percent and cost as little as $30 to install, making them an environmentally-friendly improvement at a great value.
Seal the leaks
Every house has some leaks that allow outdoor air into the home. Commonly, these leaks are found around doors and windows, which you can surround with weather stripping. You could even invest in an insulated front door that will further reduce energy loss in your home. These are all small, simple improvements that will still create the reduced heating and cooling prices you know buyers are seeking.
Install solar panels
Solar panels can be a bit pricey to install, but a California-based study by The National Bureau of Economic Research has found that adding solar panels to your home can increase its selling price by 3 to 4 percent. Solar panels are deeply appealing to eco-conscious buyers, who want a green home, and to budget-conscious buyers, who are interested in lower monthly costs. Solar power, then, may also reduce your home’s time on the market.
Today, real estate is generally considered a buyer’s market. However, green improvements can give your home an edge in a flooded market. Make a few changes that will add value to your home, and you may find it takes less time to sell.