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How to Attract and Close Green Homebuyers

Spring is here. Are you ready to get a jump on the market and build your business with Green opportunities? According to recent McGraw Hill research, the Green Homes Market is expected to increase five-fold by 2016.  REALTORS® are reporting that energy-efficient homes are selling faster and for higher prices as homebuyers factor in long-term utility savings.

This points to an opportunity for you to boost your business with these smart “green marketing” strategies:

Green is the New Granite Countertop

According to one homebuilder, homebuyers are actively seeking out energy-efficient features in their next home.  Make sure you highlight specific green features and highlight them prominently on sales sheets and classified listings.

Understand Green Credits and Tax Savings

The federal government is aggressively incentivizing purchases of energy-efficient homes.  Be ready to walk your homebuyers and sellers through the potential tax savings and credits.

Investigate Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM) as a Financing Option

When appropriate, suggest an Energy Efficient Mortgage to homebuyers financing a green-friendly home.  To get started, you’ll need to score the home using the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). Getting a certified HERS rating typically costs between $300 and $800 and is paid by the seller, lender, or real estate agent.  An EEM mortgage often helps a buyer afford a home normally out of their price range.  An EEM is a great way to get a homebuyer into there preferred home while benefiting the environment as well.

Green Qualifying

Many homebuyers may not surface their energy-efficient requirements.  Make sure you add Green Qualifying questions to your qualifying process.  Ask specific questions such as “Are you looking for energy-efficient heating and cooling features in your new home?”  Asking these questions from the onset will help you narrow down your home visits to the right green homes.

Jumpstart Slow – Selling Listings

Slow-selling homes could benefit from a Green makeover.  Take time to educate your home sellers on the benefits of making key energy-efficient upgrades to roofing, insulation, and heating and cooling systems.  Smart targeted investments could revitalize the listing and attract green-conscious homebuyers.

Stand Out From the Competition with a GREEN Designation.

The National Association of Realtors created the GREEN Designation to help REALTORS® find, understand, and market homes and commercial properties with Green Features.  Adding the GREEN designation to your title alerts homebuyers and sellers that you have specific expertise in marketing energy-efficient homes properties.

 

How Green is Your Market? Have you seen more green home sales in your market?  What are some of the key points you stress when showing a green home?

Comments
  1. Green is in. Buyers can definitely be swayed to spend more on an energy-efficient home. Unfortunately this means that older homes are going to be harder to sell as they lose this advantage unless they have been intentionally updated. What a pity! Old homes have style, beautiful flooring, thick walls, asbestos tile roofs that last forever. The price we pay for knowledge and efficiency!

  2. Love this article! It really pays to go green these days. And not just for saving money, but to help preserve the earth. You just can’t beat that!

  3. The Energy Efficient Mortgage is a good idea. I would just suggested checking into the criteria first, to make sure you’re not paying for a certification you don’t need.

  4. As a I hold a NAR GREEN designation, and several other national and local ones, I have been on board with this concept for decades. Yes, I do live on one of the coasts and it happens to be in Seattle where we have wonderful true Craftsman style homes. They can be preserved with their aesthetics while being updated to more current energy standards.
    I am a member of the NW EcoBuilding Guild who promotes such practices. If you want to know more go to http://www.ecobuilding.org . It can be done and it is already. We are holding a tour this weekend, http://www.SeattleGreenHomeTour.org .

  5. Great article. As this catches on I look to the day that Realtors help Buyers realize that keeping energy efficiency in mind can save thousands in bills every year-especially in places like Southwest Colorado!

  6. Green is Goodness for all! As The Green Ambassador of Maryland and follow green real estate professional I agree with the article and the tips…..more new home buyers are purchasing homes that have “green” qualities, certifications, and standards; so much so that in June 2012, I will be hosting an Eco-Homes Tour of Maryland; spotlighting green homes and green builders. Check out the http://www.thegreenambassador.org/eco-tours.

    Respectfully Green,
    Cathy Allen
    Green Ambassador