When it comes to selling homes with more energy efficient homes, sellers expect to get some kind of value for these features. That's why it's critically important to interview agents as to their education and expertise with these types of homes. Ask an agent if they've EVER sold a home with whatever feature your home has. And if they say no, ask them what their experience with this feature. After all, not everyone has the same features but that agent should at least be able to explain and understand the feature.
I'm known in the area for understanding these types of homes as I've earned both the EcoBroker and NAR GREEN® designation; am an instructor on the topic; and volunteer with the US Green Building Council, Arizona Chapter. Agents in my office are aware of my history in this specialty. Being contacted by agents is not uncommon!
An agent in my office was going on vacation and asked me to “watch” her business. This is something I’m honored to do for two reasons. First, the agent trusts that I will be the type of agent who “has her back” should anything occur. Second, I’m experienced to the level that she knows I can handle whatever situation arises. I’m happy to assist wherever I am needed.
Typically, I review all of the agent’s current business, including listings. While reviewing the agent’s listings something jumped out at me. One of the homes listed for sale had a statement that resonated with me, “Owner’s say electric bill averages $250/month….”. In Arizona, this is not common and this is a 6,000+ square foot home! For a home to achieve those low utility bills, several stars have to align. The home has to have energy efficient features to achieve that low electric bill.
Discussing this with the Scottsdale agent, I decided it best to visit the home with her and meet the client. We met with the owner and I contacted the builder. I was able to chat with the builder to ascertain that the home had been completely enclosed, lid of the roof included, with Icynene® Spray Foam insulation so that the walls are R30 and ceiling is R45. That one fact provides tremendous energy savings and value, much less the low e4 Milgard windows! There were even more green features in the home that provided energy savings, including smart home technology.
The offer on the home was full price, but the comparable sales were $40,000 less than full price. Creating a list of every feature, including the energy efficient features, copy of the contract, sellers disclosures and comparable sales, I met with the appraiser, along with the Green & Energy Efficient Addendum.
Knowing that homes with energy efficient features must be listed, documented, along with the cost of the features is critically important on an appraisal. An appraiser cannot see through walls, may not understand the efficiencies if not pointed out to them, and aren't privy to the list of features that provide added value, and may not be educated as to how to appraiser homes like this one.
It’s also critically important to have the Green & Energy Efficient Addendum available to them. This form can be utilized by an appraiser and is an attachment to an appraisal. It can be found on the Appraisal Institute’s website.
Providing all of this to the appraiser made a huge impact on the final outcome of this sale. The home appraised for full price thanks to the extra information provided to the appraiser.
My job as an Ecobroker, GREEN® designee, REALTOR® in Scottsdale is to note these features and work to gain more value for the homeowner. Anytime energy efficient features are included in a home, it’s very important to document these and pass that information along to the buyers agent, appraiser and future owner. The buyer of this home didn’t understand the value in these features because obviously he didn't build the home, couldn't see through the walls, and will now know why the electric bills are so low.
If you or someone you know is interested in Energy Efficient Homes in Scottsdale and/or selling a home in Scottsdale and want to work with a GREEN® designee Scottsdale REALTOR®, give me a call!