According to a EcoHome Survey poll by Royal LePage Real Estate and The National Association of Green Agents and Brokers, 72% of those polled (1266 Canadians) said that they will look for a green improved property when purchasing their next home and 63% said that they would pay more for a ‘greener’ home.
The prices that they will pay for these features is significant, with 62% willing to pay between $5,000 and $20,000 more, while 8% are willing to pay more than $20,000.*
According to Heather Stock, Real Estate Sales Representative and Accredited Greenagent, “People are becoming more aware of the need to change their ways and are conserving energy and electricity for the betterment of the earth. I’ve noticed green conscious/savvy homeowners have increased significantly over the last few years. People want homes that are energy-efficient. They want to use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic, and recycled materials when building new homes and renovating their existing homes.”
“With all the great government incentive programs offering rebates, many homeowners are obtaining home energy audits, making the suggested retrofit upgrades to their homes and receiving these substantial rebates.”
“In the end, they save a lot of money addressing issues relating to furnaces, air conditioning units, hot water tanks, windows, doors, and insulation. They are also benefiting by lowering their monthly utility costs, increasing the market value of their homes, and most importantly, they are making a direct positive impact on the environment, which is great!”
When buying or selling a home, Heather suggests that it is in your best interests to hire an Accredited Greenagent™ in your local area (or similar qualification depending on what country you live in) to assist you. Agents with this accreditation are continually educated in all aspects of ‘green’ real estate to remain in the forefront of related issues.
With their acquired knowledge, these realtors promote general environmental awareness and have the special skill set to effectively market and sell ‘green’ homes, or help people find energy efficient and more eco-friendly houses.
Heather says an Accredited Greenagent ™ can offer you:-
- Essential information to assist you in selling your home for more money, in a quicker amount of time and with less hassle to you
- Assistance when purchasing a home to help you find a ‘greener’, more energy-efficient home
- Tips you can easily implement to make your home more energy-efficient and will lower your monthly utility bills
- Solutions to increase the comfort level in your home
- Advice on what is involved to retrofit and upgrade your home to maximize efficiency in areas such as energy efficiency, electricity usage, water conservation and green heating & cooling options
- Assistance to identify different government programs supporting these initiatives and rebate programs
- Assistance to organize a home energy audit by recommending participating certified energy audit companies
- Insight into general environmental issues
- Insight into sustainable housing, building, planning, development, and landscaping initiatives
- Insight into reducing energy reliance on non-renewable resources, and understanding emerging sources of clean electricity
Heather would also like to point out that we don’t have to spend a fortune on improvements to make a difference to our home-related environmental impact and energy costs. We can all start today by doing simple things and gradually working up from there. For example, you can replace worn out appliances with Energy Star rated appliances, use power bars with an on/off switch to turn off appliances at the power source as this will reduce phantom loads, use water saving shower heads, run your dishwasher and do your laundry in the off-peak times, insulate and seal your basement and use a programmable thermostat. Those are just a few handy tips Heather has to share amongst many she has learned as a ‘green’ realtor.
Heather Stock, Accredited Greenagent™ has been an award-winning Residential Real Estate Sales Representative for over 17 years. She sells homes in the Greater Toronto Area with Royal LePage Innovators Realty, Brokerage in Brampton, Ontario. She lives the Town of Caledon, which is well respected for its progressive approach on ‘green’ matters as recognized in 2003 by being named the co-recipient of the “TVO Greenest Town in Ontario” Award.
REALTORS® in North America can receive their Accredited Greenagent™ designation by completing the Greenrealestate™ program which is offered by The National Association of Green Agents and Brokers (“NAGAB”). The Association is committed to promoting ways and means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing building energy efficiency, conservation, overall sustainability and environmental awareness.*
For REALTORS® living outside of North America, Heather suggests you contact your local real estate board to find out if there is a similar ‘green’ education designation program in your area.
Heather welcomes you to contact her. Website: www.heatherstock.com
* Source: The National Association of Green Agents and Brokers