Showing a property can bring up all kinds of concerns for a buyer. In California, these concerns often involve energy usage. Being prepared to answer questions and make suggestions about energy efficiency is simply good business. Solid ideas for how a buyer might manage the cost on a property may help to get them solution-oriented rather than focused on what they see as a problem.
There are several simple things they can do to improve the energy efficiency of their new home immediately. Here are five suggestions on how to manage energy costs and help you make that sale.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends an energy audit as a first step. An energy audit helps identify potential energy-efficient improvements. Many local energy providers offer free or low-cost audits, so suggest they check with these companies first. If free options aren’t available, then suggest they consider hiring a professional auditor.
Don’t overlook the possibility of having that energy audit done for your client, either seller or buyer. This could be a useful service to offer both.
Plug the Leaks
Whether battling summer heat or a grueling winter cold, keeping the temperature outside from affecting the indoors is going to save money and aggravation.
Up to 45% of a home’s heat is lost through the ceiling. Insulating between the ceiling and the roof will cut the bill significantly. Adding insulation to the exterior walls of the home will also make a big difference in both heat and cold air loss.
Older homes often settle and cause small spaces to develop that allow outside air to flow into the house. Many of these can be easily plugged with caulking or window and door replacement. Consider the initial outlay as an investment towards less energy usage and therefore smaller energy bills.
If the client is willing to make significant investments, then research solar panels. Since solar has been on the marketplace, the cost of installation has reduced significantly. There may be local incentive packages or rebates available from both installation companies and government agencies.
Appliances and Other Devices
Consider each of the major household appliances: refrigerator, freezer, washer, dryer, water heater, dishwasher, and HVAC units. Every appliance with several years of service behind it likely has a newer counterpart on the market that offers a cost savings.
Reviewing each unit might yield cost savings for potential replacement and save lots of money over a relatively short period of time.
It is amazing how quickly citizens become aware of their unconscious use of water when droughts occur, as Californians well know. For most, the decision to do what they can to reduce their water usage is due to both a sudden awareness and the desire to do what’s right for their community.
For many people, energy is something that is always available. Savings can be achieved simply by gathering all those who live in your household and going over ways to reduce the electric or gas bills.
Both kids and adults may be simply unaware that putting hot food into the refrigerator costs more than letting it cool to room temperature first. It is the accumulation of small changes that can make a huge difference. Do some research then present your findings and suggestions to your prospective clients.
Finally, as time passes, you’ll likely pick up new information and alternatives. Be sure to follow-up with past clients to pass that information on. This is a great way of keeping in touch with past customers and showing concern for both them and the environment.
Conquer their doubts with current information!