Eco-conscious home buyers?
October 11, 2014 11:31 PM   Subscribe

When selling a house with lots of eco features that are rare in the area (large solar array, efficient dual-fuel HVAC, new insulation/sealing, etc.), how could the sellers network / advertise to reach potential buyers who care about these features? (Location is a Philadelphia suburb and price is typical for the suburb, around 300K.)
posted by kalapierson to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: (It is being sold through an agent -- she's a longtime expert in the area, but she's not experienced with these features or why people would want them, since they're not really seen in the area)
posted by kalapierson at 11:39 PM on October 11, 2014

Best answer: Well, social media is one option. I would also consider doing flyer drops at farmer's markets, food co-ops, and any green-ish event you can find. Try to think of synergies -- a lot of cyclists are going to be eco-conscious, so are Prius owners, and so forth. (One problem is that a lot of hippies/Millennials may not be in the market for a standalone home.) Maybe do something that will be a sort of open house, like "Picnic with your Prius" (address plz so I can invoice you for this). There's a guy in our area who built a super-efficient solar home outside of town and was going around giving slide presentations for a while (he has a website, but because he isn't on social media I can't find him right now).
posted by dhartung at 12:19 AM on October 12, 2014

I'm not in your area, but the full-on eco houses (e.g. strawbale construction, full solar, etc) I have seen all did for sale by owner with websites and so on. Regular MLS is pretty much commodity listings: 3 bedroom, 2 bath, lots of updates, cute backyard; eco stuff gets a mention but isn't how most houses are sold.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:00 AM on October 12, 2014

Money talks. Explain in listings how these features will save buyers money (unless you are only looking to sell to someone whose priority is the environment).
posted by amro at 2:41 AM on October 12, 2014

These are add-ons that have a calculable price. They matter much, much less than location or basic size, layout, etc. Is the market tight in your area? Then it doesn't really matter.
Otherwise, it doesn't really matter.
posted by rr at 11:39 AM on October 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

In the Denver area I saw Zillow listings touting sellers' utility bills, usually available for review by contacting the sellers' agent.
posted by deludingmyself at 11:45 AM on October 12, 2014

Are you looking to sell the house yourself or have a broker do it? If it's via a broker the broker is not going to pay much attention to those features; they're just a part of the house that he or she is selling.

If you're selling it by yourself, take good photos, publish to eco-friendly web sites, etc. and reel buyers in.
posted by dfriedman at 11:57 AM on October 12, 2014

Look at a bunch of the MLS listings for your area. (I'm in Philadelphia, but the appeal and characteristics of every neighborhood and the people who want to live there are very different.) See what seems to be selling in your price range and how yours is different. You get to set the headlines and text for your listing (or at least aprove the realtor's draft), so look at what she thinks is important and then tweak it.

"Eco-smart house in desirable neighborhood" isn't going to turn off anybody already looking in that neighborhood, but might catch somebody who cares about the extras. Whether anybody would radically switch neighborhoods for a solar array is a lot harder to judge, but flyers at, say, Whole Foods (or equivalent Green businesses) might find them for you. Then you would want to push the morality button, say along the lines of "Better than a Green power company is a Green house!! there's one waiting for you in [Ardmore] if you act now!"

Just my first thoughts. Good luck.

Edited to add: note that a lot of people for whom low energy footprint is a priority will want to live close to transit (or downtown), so if you don't have that going for you, you might be really swimming upstream here...
posted by acm at 9:26 AM on October 13, 2014

Best answer: Flyers for bulletin boards co-op groceries and any similar businesses in your area.

Make a nice looking folio with a cover that says what's in it to have in the house, leave it in an obvious spot on an entry table with a stand-up merchandiser summarizing the green benefits of the house. Include dollar amounts and how it saves money. Have some flyers with the summary that people can take.

Make sure all of this is in compliance with the real estate laws in your state and city and the contract with your Realtor, I don't know anything about the laws in your area or what your contract says, this is just general advice for someone selling a house with unusual features.
posted by yohko at 12:54 PM on October 13, 2014

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