There are many attractive reasons to incorporate eco-friendly upgrades to your home. However, if you are thinking of selling in the near future, you may be making that initial investment for the new homeowner without reaping any of the cost-savings for yourself.
Let’s say you spend $10,000 on solar panels that are supposed to pay for themselves in 10 years because of energy savings. Well, if you decide to sell a couple of months after install, it’s difficult to say whether you will be able to make your money back on that $10,000.
When it comes to these types of updates, it can be hard to determine which ones make the most sense to install.
We’ve compiled some interesting statistics from a National Association of Realtors® survey, that gave us valuable insight into which eco-friendly features are important to the average home buyer.
The chart below describes the most important (and least important) eco-friendly features for home buyers.
Most Important Eco-Friendly Features for Home Buyers:
- Heating and Cooling Costs – 85% of home buyers rated this somewhat to very important
- Windows/Doors/Siding – 78% of home buyers rated this somewhat to very important
Least Important Eco-Friendly Features for Home Buyers:
- Solar Panels – 87% of home buyers rated this as not important
- Environmentally Friendly Community Features – 56% of home buyers rated this as not important.
This chart gives some insight as to what upgrades will help you get the best return on your investment when it comes to selling your home. You should also consider working with an experienced real estate agent (like those certified by AdvantageU® Home Sellers’ Resource), he/she will be able to inform you about the most desirable eco-friendly features in your market.
Marketing is Key to Your Return On Investment (ROI)
To get the most back from your investment, it is imperative that you promote the updates when you are marketing your home for sale.
Give specific cost savings on bills each month so that the potential home buyer can see the true benefits of the updates you have made.
The chart below gives an overview of the perceived value of information promoting energy efficiency facts. According to the survey, 71% of home buyers find energy efficiency promotion somewhat to very valuable in their home purchase decision.
Once you are ready to list your house for sale, make sure your real estate agent has specific plans on how to market your home and highlight those eco-friendly features that appeal to the home buyers in your area.
Don’t Underestimate Smaller Updates
Remember that home buyers mostly judge a property on their first impression and how they feel when they are in the home. When it comes to eco-friendly touches, those that grab their attention right away will have the most impact. The good news is that even if your budget for updates is low, smaller changes can often increase your chances for a sale.
Try having a professional gardener come and spruce up the front yard. Curb appeal is always a smart place to invest, and you don’t have to empty your pockets to make a great impression.
You can also make updates that lessen the need for maintenance. Replacing flower beds with plants that require less work is one example.
For inside the house, you could change the shower heads to water-saving options or swap out your old bulbs for new LEDs.
These quick fixes will only cost you a few hundred dollars, but the visible difference could give you much bigger gains than more expensive investments.
Key Home Seller Take-Aways
- You may be tempted to install solar panels or some of the latest eco-friendly technologies in your home but make sure you consult a real estate professional on what the typical ROI is for your neighborhood based on home sales in the past year.
- If you have already incorporated some eco-friendly upgrades, your real estate agent will be able to help you market them effectively to have the best chance of maximizing your ROI.
- Marketing will be your best friend when it comes to promoting your home’s eco-friendly features. It’s all about spreading the word and painting the picture for the home buyer, so they can’t imagine living anywhere else!
- Don’t forget that smaller updates require less investment and typically land a more immediate return.