Sunday, April 26, 2009

Going Green Clinches The Sale

Green is the hot color right now and should be your color too when you sell or buy a home. Becoming attuned to the current eco-movement will make a huge difference. As a seller, you will boost the value of your home with eco-friendly improvements and give your real estate agent more features to highlight that will set your home apart from the rest.

Buyers are much smarter about their home purchases and want lasting value for the money; an energy efficient system that saves on utilities; and a clean, healthy place to live. Given the current real market, a buyer has the upper advantage and green may very well clinch the sale.

Here are some smart eco-improvements that will attract buyers and sell your house faster.

Breathe Easy
Applying a fresh coat of paint is a standard way of freshening up a home, but you really don’t want that “fresh paint” smell. To make it more comfortable and physically healthy for potential buyers, use paint low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This paint is readily available and comes in a wide array of colors.

The Hogs In The Kitchen
Two rooms attract the most attention from buyers–the kitchen and the bathroom. Here’s where you can really shine and show buyers you care about their utility bills. Upgrade old appliances with new Energy Star certified models. While this may seem expensive on the front end, the replacements will more than pay for themselves on the back end and increase traffic.

Don’t Take It For Granited
While we’re in the kitchen, take a look at those countertops. But here’s the deal; don’t automatically assume that granite is the way to go for replacement. Granite countertops may still impress some buyers, but true trendsetters will be on the lookout for kitchens that incorporate some of the hottest new materials. So, what about paper? That’s right, paper. Compressed post-recycled paper sealed with resin makes an extremely durable countertop. It’s less expensive than granite–which is not a renewable resource–and has a warm, sleek feel. Maintenance is low too. A yearly application of mineral oil will keep the countertop looking fresh and new.

Drips Are Out
Leaky faucets, showerheads and old toilets are not selling points. Now’s the time to install low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads. Did you know that showers account for 22% of the individual water use in North America? That racks up really big water and utility bills and rates will continue to rise. Take a look at that toilet too. It’s the biggest water user in the house. By installing a low water usage unit, you can save around 2,000 gallons of water a year.

It Makes Scents
Potential home buyers get a feel for a property as soon as they arrive. To give your visitors a preview of what’s inside, arrange fresh plants new the front door. Especially effective are scented geraniums and herbs that offer an aromatic experience. To spruce up your landscaping, support your state and choose native Missouri plants that grow well in local soil and weather conditions. Inside, remove any chemical room fresheners and display herbs, especially in the kitchen.

Flaunt It
When you go green to sell your home, make sure that potential buyers know about your efforts. Discrete signs here and there, noting low VOC paint, Energy Star appliances, low water usage products and native plants show that you care about your environment and that of the new owner.

For sellers who use eco-friendly techniques, your property has an edge on the competition. Take advantage of these smart tips to be green and earn more green!

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