Home Selling with Energy Efficiency in Mind
Making energy efficiency improvements before you list your home can help set it apart and enable a smoother sales process. Energy-efficient homes are appealing to buyers thanks to their lower cost of ownership and enhanced comfort compared to similar homes.
Benefits for Home Sellers
Selling a home with efficiency in mind offers many benefits:
- Sell your home faster by making it stand out to potential buyers
- Avoid surprises and delays during the buyer’s inspection
- Potentially receive higher offers on your home
- Enjoy a smoother sale, contracting, and closing process
Follow the steps below when listing and selling your home.
Get a home energy audit or rating
Before listing your home, consider getting a home energy audit or rating. You can do a basic assessment on your own, or have a professional auditor do one for you. Audits and ratings help identify some things that may come up during a buyer’s inspection. This can include where your home is efficient and where it is wasting energy, which systems are working properly and which are not, and what upgrades may be needed.
For example, a buyer’s inspector will look at the age, expected life span, and efficiency of your heating, cooling, and hot water systems. An audit or rating will identify how your systems are functioning and whether any of your systems need to be replaced. Consider upgrading your equipment prior to listing to make your home more attractive to buyers. This can also help ensure a smoother inspection process.
Collect a year’s worth of energy bills
In preparation for selling your home, collect a year’s worth of energy bills (electricity, gas, oil, propane) from your utility and fuel providers. Check to see what your average monthly energy costs are. Many buyers will ask for this information. If you discover that the costs have been steadily increasing from season to season, an audit or rating can help you find out why.
Have your heating, cooling, and hot water systems checked by a professional
Have a contractor or energy auditor determine whether your heating, cooling, or hot water system needs to be replaced. Ask the contractor or auditor to identify your equipment’s age, life span, and efficiency. If a system is 15-20 years old, it may be nearing the end of its life span and need to be replaced. If doing your own energy audit, review NYSERDA’s Heating and Cooling Guide[PDF] to determine whether any of your systems need to be upgraded.
If it’s time for an upgrade, consider replacing the system with a new energy-efficient model before listing. This can help sell your home faster to buyers looking for move-in-ready homes. You can also talk to your real estate agent about offering money at closing for the buyer to get a new system.
Learn more about energy-efficient heating, cooling, and water heating systems.
Promote your home’s green features
Make a list of all the green features in your home and be as specific as possible. For example, ask a professional auditor what the R-value of the insulation in your attic is. Use ENERGY STAR®’s Recommended Home Insulation Guide to see whether your home has effective insulation. If it does, promote this when listing your home. Homes with proper insulation tend to have lower energy bills, greater indoor comfort, and reduced outside noise.
Talk to your real estate agent about how they plan to promote the benefits of your home’s green features. If your home is very efficient, ask your real estate agent if you should get a home energy rating. This can help to further promote and set your home apart on the market.
Take the first step—get a professional energy audit or rating or complete a self-assessment of your home.