Survey: Sustainability important to home buyers, agents alike
Consumers more and more are buying into sustainability when it comes to their homes.
As a result, Realtors frequently pitch energy-efficient features in dwellings to prospective buyers, new research shows.
The shifting demand among buyers toward green and sustainable residential attributes has pushed agents to work to better understand and highlight environmentally responsible characteristics and business practices.
In fact, 61 percent of Realtors indicate that consumers they encounter are interested in sustainability, according to the National Association of Realtors' REALTORS® and Sustainability 2018 report.
The report stems from NAR’s Sustainability Program, which surveyed Realtors about sustainability issues in residential and commercial real estate markets and the preferences they are seeing among consumers in their communities.
“Consumers continue to make it clear that environmentally friendly features and neighborhoods are an important factor in deciding where and what home to buy,” NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall said. “Realtors are leaders in the conversation about real estate sustainability, energy conservation and resource efficiency, and will continue to promote environmentally conscious strategies and best practices that benefit not just our clients, but also our communities.”
Seventy-one percent of agents and brokers reported that promoting energy efficiency in listings is either somewhat or very valuable. Asked what they consider the top market issues and considerations regarding sustainability, agents and brokers listed understanding lending options for energy upgrades or solar panels (36 percent), improving the energy efficiency of existing housing stock (34 percent) and the lack of information and materials provided to real estate professionals (30 percent).
Knowledge of green and sustainable features also is key in the sales conversation, the research said.
The survey asked Realtors about their comfort in answering questions about home performance and efficiency; 39 percent are comfortable or extremely comfortable. Forty percent of respondents are confident or extremely confident in their ability to connect clients with green lenders.
To account for growing consumer interest, 40 percent of respondents reported that their Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, have green data fields, compared to only 15 percent that do not. Among those that do have green data fields, 37 percent of respondents use them to promote green features, 27 percent to promote energy information and 16 percent to promote green certifications.