Chicago Realtor: Disclosing energy costs, green features helps homes sell

Chicago Realtor: Disclosing energy costs, green features helps homes sell
sold house

sold house

With continually increasing energy prices, ensuring your home is “green” is more important than ever.

Not only will those energy-saving features save you money while you live there, but they'll help you make more money when it comes time to sell, according to a recent report by Realtor Laura Reedy Stukel, with highly rated LW Reedy Real Estate in Elmhurst, Illinois.

Stukel notes that a year after Chicago became the first city to require disclosure of gas and electric energy costs to home buyers, the preliminary data shows homes with those disclosures sold faster.

Getting your home verified as green by a third-party program can increase the selling price by up to 10 percent more than unverified homes, Stukel says. A recent study out of Massachusetts reveals that nearly half of all listings under-reported green features that could increase the property’s value.

Here are five ideas to help maximize your home's true green potential:

1. Hire an independent energy efficiency auditor to assess your home's efficiency and make suggestions. Energy auditors use thermal-imaging cameras and blower-door tests to figure out where you have may have problems and energy loss.

2. Before remodeling your home, look at the "green" credentials of your contractor, looking for nationally recognized qualifications such as the National Green Building Standard certification. You want to make sure your remodeler is eco-friendly not eco-fake.

3. Installing new appliances? Make sure you check into the appliance's Energy Star rating, a feature you'll be able to point home buyers to when you sell.

4. Contact a highly rated electrician to help update to more efficient fixtures, such as LED lights that can last longer and require less electricity.

5. Make a committment and check out these 10 simple steps to lowering your electric bill.

Not sure where to begin? Even before reaching out to a highly rated real estate agent, you could start with an Angie's List Home Tune-Up.


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This home at 4825 N. Ravenswood Ave. in Chicago is known as one of the greenest and most energy-efficient in the United States. It was built in 2009 for $2.2 million and boasts 52 solar energy panels.  (Photo by Steven Jack)
This home at 4825 N. Ravenswood Ave. in Chicago is known as one of the greenest and most energy-efficient in the United States. It was built in 2009 for $2.2 million and boasts 52 solar energy panels. (Photo by Steven Jack)

One Chicago buyers agent says many real estate agents are either unaware or don't care about the city mandate to disclose a home's energy costs in listings.

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