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CORY T. NEU
BROKER, GRI, e-PRO
|"Below Is An Interesting Article Written By Mark Nash, In The Chicago Area,
About The Home Buyers Perspective On The Rising Costs Of Engergy, And What Sellers
Should Be Doing About It. I Thought I'd Pass It On:"
2006 Home Sellers Energy Inefficiencies Can Sour Buyers
Forget the real estate bubble, energy prices are a
primary concern for homebuyers. Stung by rising mortgage rates and higher
commuting costs from recent increases at the pump, homebuyers in the last three
months have paid extra attention to energy costs during their home search.
From my experience and hearing client reports as they look
for seasonal homes in southern climates, natural gas, heating oil and
electricity costs have moved dramatically up the list as potential
deal-killers. Sellers should be prepared for buyer inquiries about energy
consumption and efficiency improvements. Energy questions apply
to condominiums and single-family homes.
- Provide the last three months electric and natural
gas/heating oil bills. Buyers appreciate pro-active sellers providing
these costs without asking. Buyers can usually can energy
history from utility companies.
- Be honest about how you set the temperature in your
home. If you blast your furnace for a new baby or practice
conservation let buyers know. Disclose that you have turned the thermostat
down on the hot water or pool heater too.
- If you have your pool opened up for
showings and have a solar cover, let buyers know. Pool energy costs
are a second-tier energy expense to buyers.
- Install a programmable thermostat if you don't
already have one. Buyers look for this telltale sign of energy-awareness .
- Make readily available manuals from energy star
appliances (appliances that significantly exceed the minimum national
efficiency standards). Save yellow energy use labels from
furnaces, hot water heaters and appliances.
- Inform buyers that you have solar-energy systems.
Buyers might miss these systems while taking in other features of your
home on their first visit.
- Disclose active or abandoned buried oil storage
tanks. Most state residential property disclosure laws require sellers
to inform buyers of the location, size and age of tanks.
- Display furnace and air-conditioning service
histories. Buyers love to see maintenance records.
- Verify that all radiators valves work properly.
Buyers love the even heat from this old system but want to know
that they can control heat levels. Buy radiator valve keys at the
local hardware store.
- Provide receipts from recent insulation or window
replacement projects. Highlight special features such a double
glazing and low-e coatings.
- Reports from energy audits on your home completed
by your utility company.
- Forget to replace your furnace filter once a month.
Home inspectors and home shouldn't discover filthy filters. Ditto water
filters in your refrigerator and sink. Check dryer and range-hood filters
- Cover windows and doors with plastic sheeting. Buyers
want to see views and use doors on property tours. Plastic coated
windows looks like a energy band-aid.
Boomers remember the coated couches and lamp shades.
- Pile straw bales around the foundation. Buyers
consider this a quick fix for problem crawlspaces.
- Close all the blinds to save air-conditioning costs
when showing your home. You won't sell your house if it is dark and closed
up for property showings or buyers have to fumble in the dark for lights.
- Remember to vacuum floor vents and ventilation supply
ductwork. Many a homebuyer has moved-on from pet-hair tumbleweed coming
from the bowels of a heating system.
- Leave exhaust vents running in bathrooms and kitchens
during home showings. They suck the heat out and appear wasteful to
- Neglect covering window air-conditioners in the off
season. Drafty air-conditioning units aren't a selling plus
and emit outside noises . Don;t forget to clean filters
on window units.
- Ignore installing storm windows during heating
season. Buyers need to see that you have storm windows for maximum heat
retention. Make the screens visually available. Buyers always ask about
them and sometimes verify the number matches window and door count.
- Disregard build up of dust on refrigerator and
freezer coils. Move appliances out and vacuum before listing your
home. Mr. and Ms. clean-obsessed buyer might question overall home
maintenance at a home inspection if they discover excessive debris around
refrigerators and freezers.
the Author: Mark
Nash's fourth real estate book "1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a
Home" (2005) and a real estate broker in Chicago are the foundation for
his consumer-centric real estate perspective which has been featured on CBS The
Early Show, Bloomberg TV, Fidelity Investor's Weekly, Dow Jones Market Watch,
MSNBC.com, The New York Times, Universal Press Syndicate and USA Today. www.MarkNashRealtor.com
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