Tell us: Is sustainability a focus in your home?

In a report from the National Association of Realtors, 63% of agents and brokers found promoting the energy efficiency of listings to be somewhat or very valuable.

. National Association of Realtors

Massachusetts is well behind on its sustainability benchmarks, as reported in the Boston Globe. So far, residents have been slow to switch to electric vehicles and heat pumps — but could that change?

Earlier this week, the Healey-Driscoll administration filed a request for proposal for a fourth offshore wind solicitation in Massachusetts. If approved, the RFP will “invite proposals for offshore wind projects generating up to a quarter of the state’s annual electricity demand,” according to a tweet from Healey.

The proposal falls in line with a multitude of sustainability-oriented decisions in the Bay State, including the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2025 and 2030 and the American launch of an Airbnb program that pays hosts to install heat pumps


Additionally, a recent report from the National Association of Realtors suggests that climate change and sustainability are becoming increasingly influential in home buying and selling. 

According to the report, 48% of the agents and brokers surveyed said consumers were interested in sustainability, and 63 percent of them found promoting the energy efficiency of listings to be somewhat or very valuable.

Brandi Snowden, the director of member and consumer survey research at NAR, said the aspect of the report that stood out most to her was the number of respondents involved in the sale or purchase of properties with green features.

Snowden also noted that many respondents relayed their clients’ interest in sustainable home upgrades.

“In the past three years, between eleven and thirteen percent [of respondents] see clients asking often, and between one and two percent [of respondents] see clients asking very often about energy-efficient upgrades,” she said.

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Part of the reason for the client interest in upgrades is a perceived increase in worth, according to the report, which found that green properties were valued 1% to 10% more than similar, non-high-performance homes. 

According to the study, roughly 1 in 7 agents/brokers said their clients asked often or very often about energy-efficient upgrades, such as window, siding, and door replacement.


“We also see lots of indoor home projects for comfort,” Snowden said. “Since people might be spending more time in their homes, that might be a selling point to them or something they’re less willing to compromise.”

Roughly a third of the agents and brokers reported an understanding of solar panels — in their installation, valuation, and impact on home buying and selling — and just over a third said they felt comfortable or extremely comfortable answering client questions about home-energy performance.

Snowden said solar panels are sometimes perceived to decrease the value of homes, but this report reflected a change in buyer sentiment.

“[Solar panels] actually may have an increase in value,” she said. “It could be that people are more aware of the value of solar panels or that they’re seeing them more on the market.”

While the report received mostly positive feedback regarding green real estate, some respondents expressed concern. The most common concern — shared by one-third of realtors — is the effect of climate change on the market. Just under a quarter of respondents reported concerns about improving the energy efficiency in existing housing stock. 


Did you think about climate change or sustainability when purchasing or upgrading your home? Tell us in the poll below.


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