Monday, May 3, 2010

Buying and Selling a Green Home in Thomasville

A greener world is not just a dream like some people in the real estate industry seem to think. Building codes have changed and continue to change towards a more energy-efficient method that includes the way a home is constructed, type of windows and even the type of insulation used. Consumers, now more than ever are more aware on what amenities are available to them besides just buying the biggest home on the block.

The problem arising in the real estate industry, especially in small towns like Thomasville where a limited amount of knowledgeable Green professionals realize how the real estate industry has changed. Real estate agents and firms that once thought that the introduction of green, energy efficiency, and smart home technology construction by Capital Home Builders, Inc. ( a local builder) was just an outsiders sales gig. This innovative and insight of an unheard type of construction was not well received by the local real estate industry.

Nevertheless, as overwhelming news media embraced the necessity of a more sustainable way of life came to light these real estate agents and firms find themselves now jumping on a bandwagon they know nothing about or care to admit is a reality. But in order to be competitive, and with the gaining consumer knowledge on green or energy efficiency of a home these agents & firms are resorting to (GREENWASHING) by misrepresenting their property listings calling them energy-efficient when in reality they are not in order to compete with a true green Energy Star home which is only being built by Capital Home Builders, Inc. But what is the advantage they are trying to push? The answer is simple, square footage, square footage and more square footage with misleading claims.

What does this all mean to buyers looking for energy-efficient homes in Thomasville?

Simply this: Buyers looking for green or energy-efficient homesin Thomasville soon will be surprised to find limitations to their request because only one home is truly Energy Star Qualified in Thomasville, GA. With this limited selection, buyers are presented with larger square footage homes that are misrepresented by their listing agents and real estate firms as energy-efficient when in fact they are not. Buyers are being misled by their agents that are not qualified to advise their clients of the difference between the two.

Professionals lacking the knowledge of the meaning of energy-efficient homes will argue that qualified green or energy efficient homes should be comparable with other homes, and why would they be?

This is the simple analogy: For every $1.00 saved annually by the homebuyer results in a $20.00 increase in home value. So, how in the world would an Energy Star Qualified home be comparable to any standard run of the mill spec home?

Energy-efficiency and green homes are not a fairly new market like some people seem to think. Home efficiency has been around since 1996. It has only become popular in recent years because the United States has encountered astronomical energy price increases on a daily basis and has become a hot news topic and a major concern for consumers. So, this market is by no means considered new or a niche.

An Energy Star Qualified home affect prices because qualified homes are worth more than a standard spec home and appraises higher and qualifies buyers with more buying power by large lenders. Spec homes and existing homes that only offer consumers heavy millwork and more square footage are priced at a lower rate, and appraise lower.

Green Buyers

Buyers find themselves with a dilemma in their search for a green home in Thomasville. With the lack of availability of qualified green or energy efficient homes, buyers end up with the untrained real estate agent pushing (steering) a home that is misrepresented as energy efficient at a lower price with more square footage and fewer amenities in order to compete with the Energy Star Qualified home. Agents will soon convince buyers that their investment would be better spent on a larger home because buyers get more for less but neglect to tell buyers that on resale they will loss between 10-20% from their purchase price simply because the only thing they have to compete with is square footage like every other house on the market.

Sellers will hold firm on their price for their Energy Star Qualified homes and the educated buyers will recognize the benefit that comes with the prestigious blue label logo because they will enjoy the following:

Lower utility bills
Stronger construction,
Healthier indoor quality
Lower maintenance
Quieter homes
More amenities
And most of all higher resale value because contrary to what other local real estate professionals may believe or think they know about green or energy efficient homes they are oblivious to the fact that qualified green or energy efficient homes do appraise higher and lenders will provide for higher buying power. You just need to talk to an Eco Certified Agent and with a lender that provides these types of mortgages for example like Bank of America.

Unlike statements made by others that green or energy efficiency has no weight on appraisals or on lenders are mistaken and misinformed and incorrect on their statements.

They may be speaking of homes that are misrepresented as green or energy-efficient that will appraise lower because they are homes that are not documented as being true Energy Star Qualified homes and the reason why statements are made that these features have no weight.

In other words, is a Mercedes Benz equal to a Ford?

So, why would you the buyer think or expect for an Energy Star Qualified home be equal to a minimum standard spec home?

Green Sellers

A seller that owns a qualified home (by qualified I mean a home that has been rated by an independent third-party verifier) trying to sell these type of homes would contact an appraiser that has the training for appraising qualified green or energy-efficient homes in order to incorporate these values into the appraisal.

Like everything else, these qualified green or energy-efficient homes are treated differently than standard minimum spec homes. A regular run of the mill appraiser that has no training on these types of homes would not be called upon by any lender providing green or energy-efficient financing. This type of financing is called EEM (Energy Efficient Mortgages), FHA EEM’s and VA EEM’s for information log on to

A lender providing buyers seeking EEM financing provide buyers with additional monetary incentives for their purchase and a larger buying power. Unlike, local lenders will soon tell buyers they do not have any idea of what you, the buyer, are talking about and that there is no such thing.

The only difficulty a green seller may encounter in a small town like Thomasville with their qualified home is hiring a real estate agent in an agency that lacks the knowledge on green or energy-efficient homes. These professionals will soon tell you their famous words “they need to be comparable” and soon tell sellers what standard square footage pricing is in the area. In other words, if you insist and provide support to the value of the home and demonstrate to them that you know more on the subject you will soon find out the hard way as your property will lack the showings oppose to other homes in your area.

Unfortunately, some real estate professionals and agencies still believe that the old ways they use to sell real estate 20 years ago still works in today’s market and sadly become upset and maybe even stumped when a specialized Realtor designation is introduced by their own National Association of Realtors as a sign that in fact this is the future of real estate and a new form of home construction.

If you’re looking for a green or energy-efficient home in Thomasville or trying to sell a home that has energy efficient features contact your local Ecobroker Certified Agent. An Agent that is certified on green and energy efficient homes and can verify for you, the buyer, claims of homes advertised as being energy efficient and for sellers the proper way to market the energy efficient features. Remember distinguishing between the both can eliminate the utility bill shock for the buyer once already in the home and the seller avoid possible litigation for false advertising.

If you’re trying to find an environmentally friendly home and why these homes are superior to standard spec homes contact Marlene Bienes Ecobroker Certified Agent @ Rose City Realty, Inc (229) 289-0139. Buyers and Sellers take the risk of being mislead and misinformed when dealing with an uncertified professional in the Green arena.

Marlene Bienes-Ecobroker Certified Agent @ Rose City Realty, Inc.
May 1, 2010

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