Before you Sell a Home – Check the Energy Efficiency

diy tips for home energy efficiency

Energy Efficiency Helps Sell a Home

When a homeowner decides to sell their house, one of the most overlooked aspects is its energy efficiency. There is a lot of focus put on how the house looks and (not always) enough on how the house will perform for heating and cooling. There are dozens of tips to improve the heating and cooling efficiency in your home. Some of these are little to no cost. For example; an energy audit. Having an energy audit done will give you insight on where your money is flowing…right out the window. But, making changes to your home will give you two things. First, it should result in some cost savings. Second, it will help improve your position when selling a home.

Eliminate Buyer Hesitation

As a realtor, I am always watching my buyer’s heads as they walk through a house. Where they are looking and what are they staring at. I cannot count how many times buyers take note of aged windows and immediately start questioning the cost to heat or cool the home. But here is the worst part, buyers are rarely also in the business of being home inspectors. So, the visual inspection of a window is unlikely to be an accurate assessment of the energy efficiency of the home.¬†I am always advising sellers that their goals is to reduce buyer hesitation. So, anything¬†that causes a buyer to think about, or question, the home’s mechanicals can directly impact a seller’s negotiable stance. Or, a buyer may simply walk out and dismiss putting in an offer to purchase.

Tips to Help Determine Energy Efficiency

Here’s a link to a DIY page with some of the tips mentioned. But if you’re looking for some (possible) quick payoffs:

  • Contact your energy company for an energy audit (most are free or a minor charge) – the report will give you insights and, if your house is in good shape, can be used to promote the home’s features to buyers
  • Check the ducting for heating or central air – unsealed areas are just leaking out the hot and cold and draining your efficiency
  • Consider a programmable thermostat that learns and automates your heating and cooling needs

If you’re simply looking to make some improvements and don’t have plans to sell:

  • Replace old appliances – newer ones are geared towards energy efficiencies
  • During the daytime, open shades and skylight blinds – let the sun in to create natural warmth
  • Wash clothes with cold water (heating water for washing clothes can be a huge drain)
  • Avoid “empty power plugs” – if you’re not charging the device, unplug the cord from the wall – it’s just creating a trickle use of energy

Energy Audits Serve Multiple Goals

I cannot emphasize enough how beneficial an energy audit can be for a homeowner. Aside from understanding what issues may exist, such as drafty windows, a homeowner can use the result of an energy audit as part of the documents provided with a listing or as a handout at an open house. The more a homeowner can present that demonstrates maintenance and upkeep on the home – the more confidence a buyer has when submitting an offer.

If you have questions, please feel free to drop a note. Always happy to help.


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