Worried about conserving electricity in the house while you are marketing it for sale? The last thing you want is to be paying an extra electricity bill every month while you are battling to sell a home in this market. So can you just shut off the electricity, or will that slash your home’s value?
Pinch a Penny, Kill a Sale?
Many homeowners are tempted to turn off the utilities in their old residences, vacation homes and investment properties that they are trying to sell if they are already living somewhere else. Unfortunately, this can have a drastic effect on the marketability of your home, costing you thousands of dollars and turning off many prospective buyers altogether.
The bottom line is that if you want to capitalize on every opportunity to sell your home, you must have the electricity on. If not, pools will turn green and lawns will die, slashing the perceived value of your home. Real estate agents will be limited in the times that they can show your property, meaning fewer viewings and lower odds of a sale. Not being able to test appliances may raise questions in buyers’ minds, which can delay decision making and give them time to choose another home.
While conserving electricity in the house is smart money management, keeping it warm in the winter and cool in the summer can instantly make your home more appealing to buyers going to see it. Do the math. If you have a $2,000 housing payment on the property, your electric bill is $200 and you can sell a month faster by keeping the power on, you save $1,800.
Keeping the lights on is also essential for security, especially in today’s tougher economic times. What is it going to cost you if thieves steal your A/C unit or vandalize the interior of the home?
Quick Tips for Conserving Electricity in the House:
- Keep blinds, shades or drapes closed.
- Replace air filter.
- Keep thermostat set to 68 in the winter, 78 in the summer.
- Turn off the water heater.
- Unplug appliances.
- Move furniture so it does not cover vents.
- Use remote lighting systems to ensure lights are optimized for security and conserving electricity in the house.
- Schedule disconnection as soon as inspections are complete.
How to Get Paid to Make Energy Improvements & Sell Faster
The FHA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) offers homeowners funds for making energy saving improvements. These loans require no re-qualifying, no appraisals and allow loan limits to be exceeded. This could lower your housing payment if you anticipate it taking a while to sell your home, and cut your electric bill. Even better, these improvements will enable buyers to borrow more money via extended loan limits and higher allowable debt-to-income ratios. This means a larger pool of potential buyers so that your home can sell faster and for more money.
Save Big & Win
Putting these tips for conserving electricity in the house into practice will not only help you save a few dollars now, but can increase the attractiveness of your home for potential buyers. Many conscientious buyers will ask for copies of your utility bills, so have them handy and show just how much cheaper it is for them to buy your home over the one down the street. Sell your home faster and for more money, then throw a few logs on the fire, crack open the champagne and invite your old neighbors over to help you celebrate and gloat.