Energy efficiency: A major selling point for home buyers

June 15, 2016

A builder probably knows a list of features that can help a house sell faster. Whether its custom kitchen cabinets or an automated sprinkler system, a few premium amenities can make all the difference in adding value to a home. While many builders hope to make their homes more desirable by adding a few touches of luxury, research suggests energy-saving upgrades may be an even better investment. 

Prospective homebuyers prefer energy-efficient homes to more opulent ones, a recent report from marketing firm Shelton Group found. In a poll of consumers in the market for a new home, 85 percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay more if the building was Energy Star-certified. Even when pitted against tangible luxury features, energy efficiency continued to win out: Fifty-two percent said they wanted a home with Energy Star appliances compared to just 42 percent who said they wanted a pool or 40 percent who were looking for a home with an integrated sound system.

These results suggest that while state-of-the-art entertainment features may be nice to have, house hunters are far more likely to see energy efficiency as non-negotiable. 

Adding fiberglass insulation to a home can increase both its energy performance and its value. Air sealing and adding insulation to the attic in a home can increase both its energy performance and its value.

This trend appears to not only be true for new construction but also for families remodeling their home before a move.  While there are dozens of projects homeowners could embark on to spruce up their home before putting it on the market, energy upgrades are among the most valuableRemodeling â€‹magazine reported. The publication compared the cost of nearly 30 remodeling projects, comparing the initial cost of the upgrade to the eventual impact it would have on home's value. On average, homeowners were able to recoup 63 cents for every dollar they spent on a remodeling project when they sold their home. Air sealing and adding fiberglass attic insulation ranked as the most valuable. For every dollar spent on this project, Remodeling estimated homeowners would make back an impressive $1.16.