A seller never knows what will draw prospective home buyers to their property. They also can’t know what will generate further interest and an offer. Finally, there are a number of obvious or obscure factors that can affect a final negotiating price.
Therefore, it is worth trying to list as many selling points as possible. When I was looking for a first home last year, I chose not to visit some homes because of a lack of information.
Some of the best selling points these days are energy-saving measures. The green movement is spreading quickly and driving up an awareness of energy usage. Other potential buyers simply want to save money by lowering power bills.
An energy audit can be valuable. In general, an energy auditor performs a range of detailed tests to determine the “thermal performance” of the house. Essentially, it means how much extra energy a homeowner wastes to heat and cool the house. The audit is a way to find useful sales information. An auditor can provide specific numbers for the insulation ratings and other energy factors in a home. If the ratings are above average, they can be great numbers to add to a sales sheet or place around the home.
The audit also is a good way to find issues with the house that you might not have considered. Some problems are easy and inexpensive to repair. The same repairs can become crucial selling points that encourage buyers to make an offer.
Simply caulking around windows and doors can make a major difference on energy bills even though the process is very quick, cheap and easy. Likewise, newly added insulation helped sway me toward putting an offer on a house last year. It’s easy and cheap, but it was nice to know the energy savings would be realized as soon as I moved into the house. It’s also one repair I don’t have to perform.
On the other hand, an energy audit can help avoid nasty surprises. The energy auditor can tell you if the furnace is particularly old or in disrepair. If a buyer performs an energy audit or has some experience with HVAC systems, he will find the same issue. It doesn’t hurt to be upfront with the problem. You may or may not want to replace the furnace before selling. If you choose not to replace, a real estate agent may be able to help you factor the furnace into the asking price. You might also be able to put a positive spin on energy problems.