Energy efficient homes are in more demand every year in the U.S.  Reports and studies are showing that energy efficient homes sell faster and for a higher price than others.  A new study titled “Home Energy Efficiency and Mortgage Risks” recently concluded that people who buy energy efficient homes are 32% less likely to default on their mortgage, making these homes in higher demand.  Another recent study by Energy Upgrade California sampled 1.6 million homes sold in California between 2007 and 2012 that found a 9% increase in the sale price of homes certified to energy efficient standards.

To incent buyers on the value of your energy efficient home, provide copies of past energy bills and detail the savings of your home versus others in the neighborhood.  Some utilities offer neighborhood comparisons for energy usage, which can come in handy in these cases.

Also, provide hard numbers for the value of energy efficiency in the buyer’s potential loan.  For example, if the home’s monthly utility bill is $50 less than the one next door, due to energy efficient features, with a 3.5% mortgage rate on a 30-year loan, the buyer could afford to pay $11,250 for extras in place of energy costs.

Need a real estate agent experienced in selling “green” homes?  Visit our Contractor Directory for a listing of real estate agents that are trained and certified to help homeowners buy and sell green homes.

Need an appraisal for your “green” home?  Homes with energy efficiency and renewable energy features necessitate specialized appraisals from qualified professionals.  When scheduling an appraisal for a green home, make sure to request an appraiser trained or certified on appraising green homes.  Visit our Contractor Directory for a listing of NC appraisers trained on energy efficient home valuation.

Is your MLS “green”?  Across the country, Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are being “greened” with energy efficiency and renewable energy fields.  What does that mean?  Homes with energy efficiency and renewable energy features can have them added to a home’s listing to provide visibility to the home’s increased value due to these features.  Greening the MLS involves regional organizations that operate MLS directories including these items in their listings, much as they would for nearby schools, pools or other desired features.

Want to learn more about greening your MLS?  Check out these resources:

Working with the DOE’s Better Buildings Home Energy Information Accelerator, the Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS) published a resource to educate MLS organizations about the growing number of Automated Energy Models (AEM’s). These models predict a home’s energy usage by using public data such as square footage, location, and heating and cooling systems. CMLS’s Green Sheet on AEM’s answers questions that MLSs likely have about these tools.