Home Buyers and Sellers Use Energy Audits

May 09, 2012 / Russell Legato, Residential Property Analyst

There is one step for the home shopper to consider doing for protection against future home heating bills and that is Energy Audits: Home buyers & sellers. A formal audit can be done as part of the usual inspection. It is possible for the buyer to save thousands in potentially higher than average energy bills. It will highlight the steps than must be taken to improve the heating unit’s efficiency. It will allow the buyer to demand the seller fix the heating unit, add insulation or whatever else will improve the situation. The potential buyer can decide not to purchase a home which will cost more than average for heating and air conditioning expenses.

Home Buyers and Sellers Use Energy Audits

Not many home shoppers use these energy audits and realtors do not promote them. Last year only twelve thousand were performed on existing houses. Since there are 4.5 million sales of existing houses, this is a small percentage. Numerous experts who have studied the costs of heating, say this is something that protects against high utility bills in the future.

Real estate agents do not promote inspections although most buyers will pay two to three hundred dollars for a preliminary general inspection of a home they are making an offer on. This does include general condition of the furnace plus the insulation and most people consider that enough. It is up to the individual whether they will spend that money. Some home sellers will have the house inspected and provide the results as an incentive to buyers.

When conditions are discovered, they then have to be revealed to all who consider making an offer on a house. It is good protection for the buyer. Often the offer to purchase is made on a contingency basis. That means the buyer makes his offer, but if the home inspection reveals something unexpected, such as radon in a basement, that is cause for backing out of the contract and have the escrow money returned. One of these contingency clauses can be written to include Energy Audits: Home buyers & sellers, to protect the potential buyer from high energy bills down the line.

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