Realtor perspective: The value of Energy Fit Homes pathway to certification
[This post originally appeared on the Energy Fit Homes website]
Would you buy a car without knowing its gas mileage? Not likely. Yet with the energy efficiency of a home largely invisible in most real estate transactions, that’s exactly what many people do when they purchase a home. However, in recent years home buyers have become increasingly concerned with home energy use when making a purchasing decision, and this is motivating many Realtors to increase their knowledge in an effort to better serve their clients.
Certification programs like Energy Fit HomesSM are working to fill the knowledge gap by increasing the visibility of a home’s energy efficiency, helping both home buyers and Realtors better understand its importance. And as the demand for “green” homes grows, Realtors are reaching out to learn more. Energy Fit Homes recently talked with Minneapolis-based Realtor Lisa Faribault about her interest in the certification. From Lisa’s perspective, “It is about helping homeowners see priorities.”
The first step toward certification is a home energy assessment. To be able to better advise her clients, Lisa decided to have an assessment completed on her own home. At the assessment, all homes receive an Energy Fitness ScoreTM from 0 to 100, the higher the score, the more efficient the home. A score above 95 qualifies for the certificate, and homes scoring lower receive a report detailing the upgrades needed to achieve the certificate.
“Without an energy assessment you can’t see efficiency — attic and wall insulation are invisible,” explains Lisa. Because of this, many homeowners don’t jump at these improvements, even though they often offer homeowners a big bang for their buck as they pay for themselves through lower energy bills and possibly even increase resale value. An important benefit of Energy Fit Homes is the cost-effective certification requirements. “People get dazzled by stainless steel appliances and the right shade of paint,” says Lisa, “but we should really focus on what is or isn’t inside the walls. This is what sellers should be thinking about as they prepare their homes to go on the market. And the home energy assessment paired with the certification helps homeowners to do that, with time to react and increase the value of their home.”
Lisa’s home achieved a score of 80 — and while it doesn’t qualify (yet!) for Energy Fit Homes, she was excited to learn that her home scored above the Minneapolis average score of 69. From a Realtor perspective, a score above average is worth sharing because it will help buyers see the value, even if it hasn’t achieved the certification. Lisa is excited to talk about Energy Fit Homes with future clients, especially those who live in older homes and are planning sell.
Contact Megan Hoye to learn more about Energy Fit Homes and how it can add real value to the real estate industry.