Before selling, most sellers opt for a fresh coat of paint, new appliances, or a refresh of their landscaping to entice buyers hoping for a quicker sale at a better price. But a new report from Zillow finds that updating your home with eco-friendly or eco-resistant features may help sellers get a better price for their house on the market as well as sell it up to 10 days faster.
At the top of the list are electric vehicle charging stations (9.5 days faster), double pane windows (6.9 days faster), and seismic-resistant features (19 days faster) that all help sell a home faster than homes without. Also on the list are tankless water heaters (2 days faster), drought-resistant landscaping (9.2 days faster), and smart sprinkler systems (4.9 days faster).
"Climate change is impacting what buyers are looking for in a home and how they want to live," said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow's home trends expert. "A previous Zillow survey found nearly two-thirds of young adults believe climate change will impact their homes or communities in their lifetime. Those generations are now aging into their prime home-buying years, conscious of their ecological footprint and making purchase decisions based on their beliefs, values and principles."
According to Zillow, their research found that buyers are also seriously considering the possibility of flooding (55%), tornadoes (41%), hurricanes (35%), and earthquakes (29%) when choosing a home. The increasing frequencies at which these events, along with other natural disasters, are occurring means buyers are paying a premium on homes that have these features to protect themselves and their investment.
Simply adding the terms “storm shutters” or “hurricane” to a home listing can warrant a premium of 1.4% according to Zillow. Homes on stilts or piers, built to defend against flooding, can sell for 1.1% more. Homes that have undergone seismic retrofitting to make them more resistant to earthquakes can sell 19 days faster than similar homes, the largest days-on-market boost of all the features studied. Storm or tornado shelters contribute to a home selling about a day faster than expected.
“Features that reduce monthly energy bills can help a home sell faster and, sometimes, for more money. Homes with listing descriptions that mention double-pane windows can sell a week faster than similar homes and for 1% more than expected,” Zillow said. “Homes with solar panels can sell for 1.4% more. Listings that tout programmable thermostats, smart sprinkler systems and smart lights can sell up to six days faster than expected.”
“Energy-saving features are increasingly desirable in a high-inflation world where many other expenses are rapidly rising. Zillow's 2021 Consumer Housing Trends Report found that recent buyers are more likely to say an energy-efficient home is very or extremely important (67%), compared to 2019, when 56% of buyers felt that way. And in a recent survey, a panel of housing experts predicted energy prices would increase this year more than home prices, rents, food costs, wages and stock prices.”
Zillow derived this data from analyzing 3.1 million listings on its platform between throughout 2020 and 2021. Click here for a full copy of Zillow’s findings.