Many households still tend to shy away from adopting habits for fear they’ll be too hard, time-consuming, or expensive. In reality, there are many green habits that are easy, inexpensive, and will help you sell your home faster.
Cutting down on energy usage is often a great way to save money. Do you know that many buyers today will ask a seller how much they pay each month on their utilities? Some might even go so far as to ask for copies of the homeowners utility bills. In order to make this often large amount of money seem more reasonable, going green can help.
Consider “greening” up your appliances. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, getting rid of old and outdated appliances can save thousands of dollars per year. Appliance use comprises about 18% of a typical home’s total energy bill, with the refrigerator being one of the biggest energy hogs. If any of your appliances is more than 10 years old, the EPA suggests replacing them with energy-efficient models. Energy Star appliances use 10%-50% less energy and water than standard models.
If you live in an area which is serviced by Con Edison, you are in luck. This utility company currently maintains an appliance recycle program. If you have an old refrigerator, freezer or air-conditioner, give them a call and they will pay you for your old appliance! Refrigerators and freezers garner $50, while an old air-conditioner will make you an easy $20.
Once it starts to really get hot, consider installing an automatic temperature control. This way, you can set the temperature to be higher when you are not home, and cooler when you are home to enjoy it.
Another way to make your home look better, brighter and save money is to install compact fluorescent light bulbs. As much as we might hate it, some Realtors can forget to turn off a light or two. By using CFL’s, or even halogens, the light bulbs last longer, save energy and will save you money.
Saving on water is also important. Small products can often help save lots of money. By installing a low-flow showerhead, hundreds of gallons of water can be saved for every shower. They are not expensive, and the water and energy savings can quickly pay back your investment.
Faucet aerators on each faucet are also small and inexpensive devices which conserve heat and water, while keeping water pressure high.
Let’s not forget about the toilets. Try installing a low-flow toilet- they only use 1.6 gallons per flush, compared to 3.5 gallons per flush for pre-1994 models. If you have an older model, you can adjust your float valve to admit less water into the toilet's tank.
All of the features mentioned should be listed to attract as many buyers as possible. It will also show them that you care about the environment and your wallet. In turn, it will help them save money if they purchase your home.
Some energy upgrades can earn sellers tax credits and rebates. There are often a number of federal, state, and local tax incentives for making energy-efficient home improvements. These include the installation of energy-efficient weatherization such as home insulation, dual-paned windows and even tankless water heaters.
Sellers stress about the challenge of differentiating their homes from competing listings on the market and getting them to move quickly. Greening things up is one way to make a house stand out in a positive way. According to the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, a solar home will sell twice as fast as a home without solar panels – even in a depressed market.