Greening A Resale Home Can Attract Buyers and Add Value

Services for Real Estate Pros with Stucky Design, Inc.

Homeowners are looking for the maximum dollars out of their home when they go to sell it. They also want it to sell quickly once they have made the decision. By greening their home prior to listing it, they can do both. 

Simply put, a home with some green features, is better than and distinguishes itself from a similar home absent of any green features. It becomes more memorable, gives a sense of a healthier environment and that it was taken care of and enjoyed by the current owner.

Paint, flooring and light bulbs are easy places to start, but heating and air systems are often replaced prior to selling and can offer a big bang for the buck as it can help lower the new buyers total monthly expenses so it perceived as a differentiator and added value to the home. Additional insulation, particularly when marketing a home in a cold climate, will make the home cozier and can help reduce drafts and outside sounds. A tankless water heater, is a feature that stands out in a less then exciting basement or mechanical room. If updating appliances make sure they are Energy Star Rated. Even if they are not part of the home purchase, Energy Star appliances can help tell the story.

Adding native and low-maintenance landscaping features adds unique curb appeal and differentiates the home right from the start. Clean gutters, and replace any weak gutters. Repair any areas of the drainage grade that have diminished over the years.

Green staging can also benefit the seller. Reducing clutter and too many personal items is always a good idea, but so is adding plants, and other green touch-points throughout the house. Items such as organic soaps, natural fiber rugs and bowls of fruit add to the overall green sense of the home. So does unplugging non essential electronics and appliances. Does a mixer really need to be plug in all the time?

Buyers want the best value in a new home and sellers want the maximum out of it. Adding some green features can help bring the two closer together and that is what selling is all about. 


Comments (3)


Thanks for the article.  It generated some ideas for me.  I'm envisioning the extra paint cans turned so the "no-VOC" label is visible (that is as long as they're not covered in paint).

Dec 14, 2009 06:11 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

I wonder, in your experience, do home sellers balk at the upfront cost of greening their house for sale, ie investing in tankless hot water heaters?  I have a green aspect to my staging business, but am always looking to improve it.  Thanks for the article.

Dec 16, 2009 10:34 AM
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

Doug, good post, and I understand for us here in California anyway that sometimes the tankless as a retrofit are a nightmare because of the different sized piping, etc, needed it makes it not so cost effective.  But there are lots of applications for it in new construction.

And bless you my man for bringing up GREEN Staging...important and in my opinion clearly going to be in the forefront of staging as the market rebounds.  Thanks for your points.

Dec 30, 2009 12:24 PM