Talk Sustainability to Buyers, They Want to Hear It

April 30, 2020

Consumers want to hear more about how homes can help the environment and also save them money. Sixty-one percent of REALTORS® surveyed say residential consumers were “very” or “somewhat” interested in sustainability. REALTORS® report finding it valuable to promote energy efficiency features in their listings.

Sustainability conversations with clients may best be centered around utility and operation costs, indoor air quality, efficient use of lighting, and windows, doors, and furnishings. These were the topics that REALTORS® reported their clients were most interested in learning more about, according to the “2020 REALTORS® & Sustainability Report,” released this week by the National Association of REALTORS®, based on responses of more than 9,800 real estate professionals. The sustainability home features that clients listed as very important to their agent or broker included the comfort of living spaces, proximity to frequently visited places, and windows, doors, and siding.

“As many families are currently spending more time at home, some are taking on improvement projects involving sustainable features,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “Some buyers are also deciding to purchase homes with environmentally friendly components. In both instances, these households look to either reduce utility costs or increase personal comfort within their home.”

chart showing importance of home features. Click on link to access full report.

© National Association of REALTORS®

Forty-two percent of REALTORS® say they use green data fields in their MLS to either promote energy efficiency features of their listings, the energy information of the home, or any green certifications the home has, according to the survey. And 40% of REALTORS® report feeling comfortable addressing questions about home performance from consumers. However, 22% said they were not comfortable doing so.

Agents and brokers expressed wanting more information to help their clients on lending options for energy upgrades or solar installations as well as how to improve energy efficiency of existing housing stock.

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