By Erik Fowler
This is the third article in a series designed to help you make sense of the green landscape as a real estate professional. REALTOR® Magazine’s Styled, Staged & Sold blog and I are excited to be covering green home trends in America. In the previous article, I provided an overview of green homes and real estate. Here, we’ll highlight green buyers and sellers, and the listing and marketing of green homes.
When talking about a green home, it’s important to avoid generalizations and stick to specifics. For instance, when working with a buyer and discussing his or her interests and needs, the subject of utility bills or other costs associated with a home purchase will often come up. This is a perfect time to discuss energy efficiency and how utility bills are affected by how well-built and how well-insulated a home is.
It is important to understand that the purchase price is a major, but not the only, cost consideration. Utility bills and home maintenance contribute to monthly bills as well.
Is it an Energy Star Home?
If your client is considering new construction, you may want to search for an Energy Star Qualified home. Energy Star homes must be tested by a third party and are designed to be at least 15 percent more energy efficient than baseline new construction (do not confuse Energy Star appliances with an Energy Star home).
The point here, of course, is that agents should be informed about energy efficiency and green home trends, but should not represent themselves as experts in this area.
When a client mentions specific issues of concern or interest to them, the first reference point should be your state’s disclosure notice from the seller. In the case of energy efficiency, if the seller markets his/her home as “green” or “energy efficient”, then it is our job as real estate professionals to ensure that the buyer has as much specific information as possible from the seller or builder, and from reputable third-party sources. Continue reading »
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
No one wants to live next to the neighbor with the overgrown yard, broken stair railings, littered yard, and completely neglected property.
So what should you do if you find that your property is living next to the “neighbor from hell?”
A recent Universal Press Syndicate article by Ellen James Martin provides tips from Davis on how to resolve the problem amicably. Continue reading »
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
The home remodeling history has taken a hit in recent months but finally may be starting to show signs of picking up, according to the Web site www.remodelormove.com and its latest Remodeling Permit Activity Report. The report, a survey of 5,000 home owners, shows a 5 percent increase in the number of home owners who say they will likely remodel within the next 12 months–the first reported increase, even if it is slight, in remodeling plans since 2007. Continue reading »