EMERYVILLE, CA -- More than half of all home shoppers report that green home features, from energy efficient appliances to solar panels, are an important part of their purchasing decision, though only one percent of home listings market these features to buyers, according to results of a national survey announced today by real estate brokerage ZipRealty.
The brokerage also announced that it is the first real estate company to integrate green-friendly Transit Score ratings into current home listings on its popular home-buying site, based on the popularity of the existing Walk Score feature, which scores the walkability of each listing.
"A growing number of home shoppers are seeking out homes that offer strong public transit options, high walkabilty scores and green features," said ZipRealty's Chief Home Hunter Leslie Tyler. "Showing Transit Score ratings for all home listings on our website gives our clients additional information about alternative transportation that they need before making an offer on a home."
New Survey Indicates Green Features as a Priority
Other highlights from the survey include:
A recent survey of homebuyers registered on www.ZipRealty.com revealed that 55 percent of survey respondents rated a home's green features a "somewhat important" or "very important" part of their home hunt.
•Homebuyers who view green features as a priority ranked them important because they helped save money (49 percent), as well as allowed them to do their part to help the environment (40 percent).
•Other reasons homebuyers valued green features included occupant/family health (37 percent), tax credit availability (12 percent) and the home's resale value (15 percent).
•Although homebuyers overwhelmingly rated energy efficiency the most important green feature in a home (89 percent), an additional survey conducted by the brokerage of MLS-listed homes across the 35 markets nationwide ZipRealty serves found that less than one percent of homes on the market included the term in their description of the home.
"Sellers are missing an opportunity to market their home effectively to a wide net of home shoppers," said Tyler. "Appealing to buyers can be as simple as highlighting appliances as energy-efficient, which many homeowners choose today to save money themselves. Our survey suggests that sellers of older homes could make inexpensive changes, like switching to energy efficient light bulbs or appliances, to help their home stand out from others."
In response to increasing buyer demand, www.ZipRealty.com also introduced the Transit Score feature as part of an updated website and logo revamp. Transit Score ratings rank a home on a 100-point scale based on its proximity to multiple public transportation options, allowing homebuyers to consider the amount of time and money they will spend commuting every day as part of their purchase decision.
ZipRealty is the first brokerage to feature the new Transit Score, an application developed by Seattle-based civic software company Front Seat. Homebuyers in most of the 35 markets ZipRealty serves will be able to locate Transit Scores along with Walk Scores (introduced in 2008), the relative "walkability" score for a home, under each listing's "Neighborhood Info" tab. Transit Score is calculated on the frequency, type of route (rail, bus, etc.), and the distance to the nearest stop on the route.