29 September 2022

Selling your home to appeal to energy efficient buyers

By Melanie Robson, Associate, Hayes + Storr.

Energy efficiency matters more to some home buyers these days than the size of the garden. According to a recent survey by Money.com. Solar panels now rank ahead of ensuite bathrooms and, as energy prices rise, this trend looks set to continue. So, if you are selling your home, how can you make your house appeal to today’s energy efficient buyers?

Fortunately, you can improve your home’s performance and make it easier to sell without spending a fortune.

Your EPC can help you

You will need a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before marketing your home, and it will then be available to any potential buyer.

The EPC is a short report, produced by an accredited energy assessor, on the energy efficiency of a property. It will rate your home A to G, with A being the most energy efficient grading. The EPC should also include recommendations to improve your home’s rating. An EPC lasts for ten years. So, your home may already have one. If you cannot find a copy, you can check on the website: www.gov.uk/find-energy-certificate.

Take care to consider the EPC’s recommendations before putting your home on the market. It may reveal some straightforward ways to make your home more energy efficient. If you are commissioning a new EPC, you may want to increase your home’s energy efficiency first. There may be cost-effective ways of doing this, for example, by switching to LED bulbs or insulating your loft. You can find suggestions at Simple Energy Advice.

Having a higher EPC rating may be more important for some types of property, from 2025, the Government may require rental properties to have at least a C rating. So, if your property could appeal to buy-to-let investors, then you may want to bear this in mind. Currently a privately rented property must have a rating of no less than E.

Every home is unique, and what works well for one property may be more difficult to implement in another. Some properties may not be suitable for cavity wall insulation due to solid walls or because the work may aggravate damp issues.

Upgrading to a new boiler, or installing double, or even triple, glazing could make your home more attractive to buyers concerned about rising energy costs.

Make sure you obtain all the necessary statutory consents

Most significant improvements, including solid or cavity wall insulation, double glazing, solar panels, or new boilers, all require building regulations consent. However, if the contractor installing them is authorised under the Competent Person Scheme, then all procedural matters will be dealt with as standard.

Other consents you may need

Occasionally, there may be title restrictions which mean you need a third party’s consent. If you plan major work, such as installing solar panels, then you should check your property’s title for any restrictions first.

Keep the paperwork safe

Remember to keep any guarantees or warranties safe. Your buyers are likely to require these before completing their purchase.

For further information, please contact Mel Robson in the residential property team on 01553 778900 or email mel.robson@hayes-storr.com.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.