In this age of global warming and high energy cost, more buyers are looking for houses that have embraced green features to reduce water use and energy consumption. As you prepare your house for sale and are making upgrades, now is the perfect opportunity to think green. It’s one more check mark to increase the value of your house. Prospective buyers will take notice because it will save them money in the long haul.
1. Replace light bulbs from incandescent to compact fluorescent. They’re more expensive but use only of the energy and last much longer.
2. Install ceiling fans to circulate warm air in the winter and cool down the house in the summer. They’re more economical to operate than central air conditioning. They also help to circulate air when selling a vacant house.
3. Invest in a programmable thermostat to maintain a cooler temperature during the day when you’re away or at night when everyone’s sleeping.
4. Replace insulation strips around doors and windows to seal air leaks.
5. Upgrade to low flow showerheads. Besides saving on water, your hot water tank will use less gas or electricity.
6. Toss your old toilets for low flow models. You will immediately see the saving on your water bills. Watch out for rebate programs to encourage homeowners to switch.
7. Replace the old hot water tank with an energy-efficient model. It can perform as much as 40 per cent better than your old one. A tankless (or on-demand) heater will add the greatest value to your house but you may not be able to recover the cost when selling your house.
8. Consider Energy Star certified appliances when buying a new refrigerator, dishwasher, or laundry washer and dryer. Leave the logo on. Savvy buyers will recognize them instantly.
9. Install energy-efficient windows. They lower your utility bills while reducing drafts and increasing the comfort in your house. This is a huge expense so replace only those windows that have serious issues to keep down your cost.
During the decluttering stage, donate unwanted items and dispose safely all hazardous materials such as old paint, oils and additives, batteries, obsolete electronic equipment, etc.
You may also want to try out some of the new green labels when cleaning your house. When prospective buyers see green cleaning products in the cabinets, they want to believe you care as much for your house as the environment. It’s not all gimmicks. You may like what you’ve done so much that you’ll carry these ideas to your new home.