How to Sell a Green Home

Yellow house with for sale sign

Selling a green home is much like selling a conventional home, with a few differences. This article will present both the general and specific tips you need to consider when selling your green home.

The first big decision every seller needs to make is whether to get represented by a realtor or opt to For Sale By Owner (FSBO). Do you want to save the commission and do the extra work selling it yourself or take on a realtor to do the work for you. If represented by a realtor, look around to see if there’s a green real estate specialist in your area since they’ll know the specifics about green homes and what the market is like for them. This overview of the selling process assumes a buyer is being represented by an agent. For specific information on selling a home as an FSBO, visit http://www.forsalebyowner.ca/sellers-guide.

Upgrades

Though a massive solar PV system would make your home more attractive as a green home, the price hike doesn’t. You have to know your market and whether buyers can afford the increased cost. This is where taking on a knowledge green realtor will help. They’ll be able to tell you whether or not the market can support the upgrade you plan on purchasing.

If you need to replace an outdated or broken appliance go for the most energy-efficient option while staying within a reasonable budget.

Keep records

Keep receipts, warranty information and proof of cost savings for any purchases you make since potential buyers may want to see them, suggests Maggie Baxter of Ecohearth. Since buyers may not look out for these details, it helps to point them out by displaying these papers at an open house so that they realize the home’s true value.

Renovate

Ask yourself how much hassle you’re willing to put up with to renovate your home and whether you can recoup those costs once selling. The basics should at least be considered: painting walls and refurbishing floors.

According to home renovations guide Lee Wallender, kitchens and bathrooms should be the number one remodelling priority. Typically, with conventional homes it’s suggested to focus on appearance over function. A home’s appearance has a subconscious effect on buyers, which will impress them far more than installing a new water heater. But here again, it’s important to know your market. Though appearances still have a great effect on green home buyers you have to have enough sustainable components to warrant calling your home a green home. If not, you may just want to consider those energy efficiency upgrades before doing anything else.

Staging the home

The benefits of staging are many. According to Home Staging Online, they include:

•    An updated, newer look
•    Appeals to more people
•    Positive first impression
•    Impression that the home is clean and well-maintained
•    Home appears larger with less clutter
•    Highlights special features of the home
•    Better images for MLS, web, video, and print
•    Positioning small areas, porch, alcove, patio as prime living space
•    Positive return on investment
•    Faster sale
•    More showings and offers
•    Higher appraised value and sale price

Of all the work that goes into preparing a home for sale, staging can be the most time consuming and tedious, which is why many people choose to outsource the job. Talk it over with your real estate agent when deciding whether to stage the home yourself or hire someone.

The main benefit of doing it yourself is the obvious fact that you save money, but you also save the hassle of finding someone, hiring them and having them hanging around the house. The drawbacks are that you don’t benefit from the professional expertise and you won’t get the objectivity that an outside source will bring to the job when making important decisions about what stays and what goes.

If you want to hire a professional, search the directory at Certified Staging Professionals and locate one that is resource efficient. Ask them how much they’re able to reuse current furniture and what percentage of their staging inventory is recycled (i.e. purchased from second-hand / consignment shops or furniture rental companies). If you’re doing it yourself, read the next page in this guide: How to stage a green home.

Listing / marketing the home

Hire a professional photographer to take a series of photos that you can list online as a virtual tour. Narrow down to your best shots that showcase your home as well as possible.

A recent poll on Comfree found that 62 per cent of people start their home search by surfing the net. So whether you go through an agent or choose to sell yourself, it’s a wise decision to post your home for sale on the Internet. If you have the budget and time, post on as many sites as possible and consider print sources such as the newspaper, real estate magazines and direct mail. If you have to limit your promotional strategy, target green home buyers by posting your ad with us. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you have nothing to lose. Just as bird watchers frequent a specific spot when looking out for the rare Harlequin Duck, to find the specific breed of home buyers you’ll need to look for them in the right place.

For more on how to sell a home, watch this video:

Further reading:

How To Prepare Your House For Sale
Green Home Sellers’ Guide: How to Sell an Eco-Friendly House
How to Renovate Your House Before Sale
How to Stage Your Home for a Sale
Home Marketing Tips – How to Market Your House

NEXT SECTION: How to Find a Green Real Estate Agent>>

[ois skin="Bottom of page"]

image: Photo Dean (Creative Commons BY-NC-ND)