Scott and Barbara Schriber, owners of Selle Valley Construction.
Scott and Barbara Schriber, owners of Selle Valley Construction.

A key to Selle Valley Construction’s success is ensuring that the company’s homes are appraised for what they are worth, allowing buyers to qualify for loans that may be slightly larger than those for other entry-level dwellings. By spending a lot of time with her appraiser, co-owner Barbara Schriber was able to demonstrate the full value of her small, tightly built cottages. She explained NGBS and Energy Star certification, what a HERS rating means, and how her homes are built differently from traditional ones. She provided the appraiser with a copy of the homeowner’s manual and some background research (such as these case studies from the Green MLS Tool Kit) and then carefully walked him through the home.

A former builder, her appraiser agreed that her energy-efficient house should achieve a higher valuation than a similar-looking one down the block. The house was appraised for about 20% more than other new entry-level construction in her town.

“I really think it paid to take that significant amount of time,” she said, adding that she believes HERS ratings should be included in all MLS listings as a way to quantify a home’s efficiency.

“Although some do care about sustainability and eco-friendly materials, in our experience, it is the electricity bills that most impress Realtors and buyers,” she says.

For more tips on working with appraisers, click here.