6 Tips for Selling High-Performance Homes

Sustainability and Green Building

Building green homes can not only provide prospective buyers with clear benefits, such as decreased energy and water usage and utility bill savings, but some “hidden” benefits as well, including improved indoor air quality, more efficient heating and cooling systems, and more.

The Home Performance Counts: Virtual Green Home Tour series provides insights into multiple facets of the high-performance residential building industry and how to communicate these benefits effectively. The following are just a few tips from recent tours.

Realizing the Added Value of Green for the Sale

Just saying something is “green” doesn’t necessarily mean prospective buyers understand what that entails. Positioning key features of your home and working with other professionals can help boost a home’s appeal. For example:

  • Illustrate with visuals. This prompts prospective buyers to ask ‘what is this, and what does it mean?’ For example, a graphic of the home’s HERS index score starts a conversation about the products used to make the homes more energy efficient. You can then use that conversation to emphasize the savings those products will provide for the buyers, which is always a great selling point.
  • Develop a good working relationship with your local real estate agents. Make sure they understand your property — what’s inside the walls, on top of the house, in the ground, as well as what a potential buyer can see — so they can talk about it.
  • Provide all the documentation for the house. This will help populate the MLS fields with the high-performance features, and can be used to complete the Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum for the appraiser.

Translating Green to Potential Customers

Help buyers understand how technology can help provide other, perhaps less noticeable, benefits beyond energy efficiency and cost savings. For example:

  • Tight building envelopes and outdoor air exchange technology can decrease the impact of high pollen levels or wildfire smoke.
  • Structured plumbing and hot water recirculation loops can mean not waiting for hot water out of faucets or showerheads.
  • Highly insulated walls can improve sound quality and create quiet places to work or learn without the background noise of family members or pets.

The green home tour series is a product of Home Performance Counts, a joint educational initiative between NAHB and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Each month a free 45-minute program showcases a high-performance home from around the country and features a live Q&A session with the builder and real estate professional discussing how to talk to customers about, and how to best sell, green homes.

The free series is scheduled to resume Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. ET.

To stay current on the high-performance residential building sector, with tips on water efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and other building science strategies, follow NAHB’s Sustainability and Green Building efforts on Twitter.

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