Can You Green a Home on the Cheap for a Faster, Higher Sale?


Offering something unique and timely can always help sell a home more quickly and possibly closer to the listing price. Aside from the usual home staging techniques, implementing some easy, but key energy and water saving options too might just do the trick! Savvy buyers will ask what utility costs are or to see actual bills, especially in older homes, and be impressed at measures taken to reduce those costs.

Here are some easy, yet smaller projects that can increase a home's appeal in a time of high energy costs and an extraordinary focus on being green. Oh, make sure you of course market the home with these positive, new features.

  • Replace regular light bulbs in permanent fixtures with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs use about one-fifth as much energy as regular bulbs, and last about 12 times longer).
  • Install low-flow showerheads, which will save on water heating and use.
  • Install an ENERGY STAR qualified, programmable thermostat
  • Close the damper on the fireplace. It sounds simple, but is often forgotten season to season and causes drafts and high energy loss.
  • Add insulation to an attic.
  • Seal basement rim joists. This is along the top of the basement wall where the cement or block comes in contact with the wood frame. This is a common area of air leakage.
  • Insulate water heater tanks for energy savings.
  • Repair water leaks in tubs, showers and sinks. Not only are they big water wasters, but a leak really shows the home is not cared for anymore.
  • Perform duct sealing or hire a contractor. 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts.

Other visible changes that may attract a buyer are using renewable sources in any flooring you might replace prior to listing such as recycled carpeting, bamboo, cork or other flooring from fast-growing wood sources.

You can also recommend a home energy audit to help your clients identify other easy, but important fixes and also demonstrate to potential buyers the sellers are serious about home maintenance and improvement. It will give buyers a fun jump start too on accomplishing more efficiency improvements in their new home.

Being willing to partner a bit with the buyers creates an air of security that the home is still cared about and all parties want them to have as great an experience in it with their family as the previous family did.

GreenPlus is a new home warranty option from Home Warranty of America that can be added to this mix that will really thrill buyers of the home. Go to www.hwahomewarranty.com for details.

You can see that encouraging these smaller, but important green ideas with your clients can be very beneficial to a quicker home sale.

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