National Association
of Realtors

It’s Become More Critical to Understand Green Features

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Consumer interest in sustainability is growing, but real estate pros express confusion about the impact on home value, according to a new NAR report.

It’s Become More Critical to Understand Green Features<br />

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REALTORS® say they’re feeling more urgency to communicate the virtues of sustainable homes as consumer interest in going green increases, according to the newly released 2023 REALTORS® and Sustainability Report. But the study by the National Association of REALTORS® also found confusion among real estate professionals about the impact of certain features on property value—solar panels in particular—and lending options for energy upgrades or solar installations.

It’s an important time to beef up your knowledge about energy efficiency and green home features because more consumers are asking about them. In fact, many of your clients may be willing to spend more on properties with such features. But although 14% of REALTORS® say their clients ask often for advice about energy efficient upgrades, a quarter of them say there’s a lack of information in the industry, according to NAR’s report.

That’s a reason to explore NAR’s GREEN designation, which improves your understanding and visibility in the green-home market, says NAR President Kenny Parcell. “REALTORS® who speak with authority about a home’s sustainable features and convey the value, health benefits, energy savings, durability and operation costs provide a major advantage in every market,” Parcell says.

About half of REALTORS® say that in the last year, they’ve been directly involved with a property that contained green features; 17% say their clients are considering environmental risk during the purchase process, according to the survey.

So, how do you market a green home? About a third of agents and brokers say they use green data fields in their MLS, a quarter promote energy information and 14% tout a property’s green certifications. “While each area of the country has a unique climate and community resources, REALTORS® are finding the need to embrace their clients’ sustainability interests,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s deputy chief economist and vice president of research. “Buyers often seek homes that either lessen their environmental footprint or reduce their monthly energy costs. There is value in promoting green features and energy information to future home buyers.”

Is Green Worth the Extra Money?

The NAR survey shows that 17% of REALTORS® say a high-performance home—one with improvements made to increase health, operational efficiency and durability—saw an increase from 1% to 10% of the dollar value offered compared to a similar, non-performance home. That could equate to thousands of dollars.

What’s more, energy-efficient home projects could save homeowners up to $2,500 a year on their energy bills, according to a recent survey of 1,000 consumers conducted by Thumbtack, a home services website. For example, installing energy-efficient lighting or smart thermostats could trim yearly energy bills by up to $200 and $100, respectively, the report shows.

The green-home features REALTORS® say their clients are most interested in are:

  • Windows, doors and siding (39%)
  • Proximity to frequently visited places (37%)
  • Comfortable living spaces (37%)
  • Savings on a home’s utility bills and operating costs (25%)
Green Home Features