With demand rising for green home features, it’s no surprise that home stagers are starting to style sustainably to help prospective buyers see green when they’re shopping for property. And though it’s beneficial to convey the impression that a home is environmentally friendly, it’s equally important to address the substantive issues that affect overall performance.
Here are eight staging tips to make your listings stand out:
- Verify environmental friendliness: Conduct an energy audit of a home and outline the green changes and upgrades that have been made as a result of the audit’s findings. That can include basic changes, such as new caulking, insulation and lighting packages. It also can entail more substantial upgrades, such as new appliances with the Energy Star® label and the installation of a tankless water heater or an efficient HVAC system. Show prospects the potential savings and long-term benefits of all the green modifications that have been made.
- Highlight green features: Offer buyers a checklist of a property’s green features, along with the benefits that each offers. Some suggest creating a notebook– made of recycled paper or bamboo or something with a green image on its cover–that illustrates a home’s green aspects. Some books include notes about energy efficient appliances, water filtration systems, bamboo floors, and so forth. They can also includes documentation, such as information from the paint store or the paint company’s website, about the low toxicity of the paint used or proof that the floor covering is made of sustainable wood.
- Incorporate green products: Any cleaning supplies in cabinets should be green, and food on display in pantries should be labeled organic, if possible.
- Include a recycling center: The aesthetics of recycling bins have evolved beyond basic blue, so it’s possible to make separating bins a sleek design element in a house.
- Eliminate odor: That freshly cleaned pine smell that comes from commercial cleaners or that new paint smell often signals air that is teeming with unhealthy chemicals. They suggests using green cleaning products and avoiding any items, such as vinyl shower curtain liners, that emit an aroma.
- Go natural: Use living, not silk or plastic, plants. They have a more natural look and can improve indoor air quality.
- Enhance curb appeal: Don’t neglect the outdoor space. If homeowners are revamping the exterior, suggest swapping a lush lawn–that demands huge resources–for something more eco-friendly, such as vegetable gardens or native grasses. Plants, shrubs and vines that are native to a given area can thrive well without excessive watering or additives and they require less maintenance. Play up other green outdoor features, like composting bins and rainwater barrels. And chemical additives, sitting in the garden shed are a no-no.
And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection
Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI
2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900