Ground Forces: Land, Flooding, and Fracking

Across the country, real estate pros wrestle with environmental challenges to sales.

July 15, 2015

Environmental issues affect real estate sales in myriad ways, from the increasing focus on energy-efficient buildings to the impact of droughts and hurricanes on home sales. As public perceptions about changing climate conditions, natural resource management, and other environmental threats are debated, practitioners can attest to the impact such factors are having on their business. In a recent survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®' Research department for REALTOR® Magazine, more than a quarter of respondents said they'd lost a deal because of an environmental issue. Respondents cited flooding, protected wetland and waterways, and natural disasters as top environmental issues affecting transactions.

Your clients surely look to you for guidance about how local environmental concerns may affect the cost of maintaining or selling a property or even the right to own it. The more knowledge you can acquire about the challenges facing your market, the better prepared you’ll be to help clients navigate the consequences of a changing planet.

Here we'll examine how three practitioners are reacting to environmental dilemmas in their area. They're fighting to maintain the integrity of their communities, whether it's battling aggressive developments, empowering clients to question government regulations, or finding the right properties to alleviate consumers' worries. Click on their images below to read their stories.

"There's plenty of value in our properties here because we've done a very good job historically of protecting our environment."
— Tom Fendley
"This is continually a last-minute problem where the banks make the rules and require flood insurance at their own discretion." — Tina Golon "Our market area is larger than the state of Georgia. We have to resign ourselves to driving farther or selling less in parts of Texas these days."
— Johnnie Rosenauer
How Overdevelopment Dries Up Resources Lifeline for a Flood of Obstacles Drilling Down For Better Options

Graham Wood
Executive Editor of Digital Media

Graham Wood is Executive Editor of Digital Media for REALTOR® Magazine. He can be reached at