Buying a Home? Why Sustainability Information Matters


Purchasing a property or improving an existing property can be one of the largest investments a person may ever make.  Realty Sage asked sustainability expert Miriam Gennari, President of MetroMakeover LLC, and real estate agent with Ikon Realty in Annandale Virginia, to share her story in a 3-part series about working in the emerging eco-real estate industry — the challenges, the opportunities, and the details about her career choice.


It’s really no surprise that the primary source of real estate knowledge for homebuyers is the Internet. According to the National Association of Realtors, 99% of Millennials search for homes using online websites, often before contacting a real estate agent to begin their home search. And Millennials are the largest group of first time homebuyers at 66%.

With buyers primarily gaining their knowledge early on from real estate sites, it is startling to know that buyers are not getting the full picture of the homes they are looking at online, and that includes the potential cost savings and other benefits like eco-friendliness, money savings as well as benefits for their health and comfort.

The features that often buyers don’t see include: higher quality building construction, which means lower long-term maintenance and ownership costs, along with more comfortable living conditions; high tech and automated features which bring about lower maintenance; and better systems and finishes which are not just more environmentally friendly, because they use less water and energy, but they can improve the air quality and save the homeowners money.

Knowledgeable agents, like Miriam Gennari, are working hard to fill that gap of information when they can. “I prefer to put the green features out in front.”  Miriam adds, “In my brochures and on the Internet, I make sure that customers and their neighbors feel informed about the sustainability of a home and where opportunities exist to increase the value of a property either before they list or even after they buy.”

Real estate sites often limit the display of important home information to the listing’s comment section. This means that homes with premium features do not stand out, and buyers don’t fully understand the differences and the benefits in the homes that they are considering. 

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