When it comes to solar homes, the process of marketing and selling has certainly improved recently (for both leased and owned systems) but there are still improvements to be made.
While real estate agents can talk from a position of experience on most topics (thanks to their own homes), very few own solar panels themselves so can rarely explain to potential buyers why these systems can be so effective…thus increasing the importance of Pearl Home Certification.
Unique to Phoenix, Pearl Home Certification is a brilliant tool for both sellers and buyers. Using a ranking system of Silver, Gold, and Platinum, buyers can quickly learn the value of any system; what’s more, a number of considerations are made including green upgrades, baseloads, and features.
Suddenly, there’s an opportunity for green homes to be recognized for their ability to save money. For example, air sealing and improved HVAC systems will be recognised alongside solar systems (even if leased). Since a certified energy auditor will complete the rating and an independent third party will provide the certification, buyers can see all the important information in a simple format – providing a fantastic marketing tool for sellers.
With advanced reports, homeowners will have access to a number of additional documents that make the selling process easier. For example, certification reports, appraisal addenda, and even letters to appraisal companies will clearly explain the features of your home and why they should add value. With a clear addenda for the agents and appraisers, no feature of your home will be forgotten and your property will get the valuation it deserves. In a recent study, Pearl Certified homes were shown to sell for an extra 5% (this is $25,000 for a $500,000 home!).
Four Key Considerations
Pearl Certification places an emphasis on these four areas;
- Heating and Cooling – Are the duct work and HVAC systems in good condition? Do they operate efficiently?
- Home Management – Do you have smart devices? Is the efficiency of the home improved with action plans, WiFi-enabled thermostats, or energy monitoring tools?
- The Building Shell – How is the construction of the home? Is there any air leakage? Does the insulation provide a benefit to the home?
- Baseloads – With reference to lighting, appliances, and ventilation systems, how is energy used in the property?
Finally, although not listed in the main four considerations, Pearl Certification will also include a review of solar panel systems. How does the solar system impact the home? Despite the biggest boost to valuation coming from owned systems, leased solar can still offer savings for new homeowners.
In summary, Pearl Certification is a program designed to assess the features and benefits of certain aspects in the home. From here, it compiles the most important information and presents it in a way that’s easy to understand and follow. For the seller, these marketing tools can be invaluable in attracting interest and selling for a price that’s appropriate for the additions and improvements that have been made.
For many listing agents, Pearl Certification has become a normal part of the marketing and selling process so we recommend having a conversation with your own. Normally at no cost (or very little) to the seller, this program will allow a home to be assessed fairly for all its efficiency improvements. As a homeowner, it could be the difference between a ‘good’ and a ‘great’ valuation. In the years ahead, we think Pearl Certification is only going to increase in importance for the real estate industry in Phoenix!