Lifestyle Real Estate

The Secret to Selling Your Home Faster? Sustainability—Yes, Really

Plus buyers are willing to pay up to 3 percent more.
black home exterior

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Earth Day is quickly approaching (ICYMI—it’s this Friday!), and if you’re still wondering how to show your appreciation for the planet, we’ve got you. There are the go-to moves, like planting a tree; going to the farmers’ market with a reusable tote bag; and unsubscribing from catalogs, which are all gold star–worthy. But if you are craving long-lasting change, think about making some sustainably minded renovations. The best part is, when you prepare to sell your house, eco-friendly features could benefit you in a big way. 

According to research by Zillow, listings with eco-friendly details associated with energy efficiency can help sell a home 10 days faster than expected (and in some cases, even quicker). The most beneficial upgrade? Having your property retrofitted for seismic activity (earthquakes), which can speed up the closing process by 19 days and potentially boost the value of your house by 2.4 percent. “Climate change is impacting what buyers are looking for in a home and how they want to live,” says Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert. Millennials and older Gen-Zers who are entering the housing market for the first time are acutely aware of our changing planet and conscious of their ecological footprint. Here are a few of the other top updates that will have them signing the paperwork in no time:

  • EV charging station (9.5 days faster)
  • Drought-resistant landscaping (9.2 days faster)
  • Double-pane windows (6.9 days faster)
  • Programmable thermostat (6 days faster)
  • Smart sprinkler system (4.9 days faster)
  • Smart lights (3.6 days faster)

Calling all Californians: If the second one on the list speaks to you, take a page out of designer Jess Diab’s book and opt for chic hardscaping in the form of graphic tile, large-scale pavers, and easy-to-clean gravel instead of going with a full lawn (one perk, of course, is not having to mow). If you’re leaning toward making smaller tweaks inside, consider investing in a Google Nest thermostat, which will adjust the temperature in your house for you, according to your habits, sparing your utility bill up to $145 each year. We’re not just talking about compost bins anymore. These sustainable changes equate to a forever home.

Kate McGregor


Kate McGregor covers everything related to the home, from design inspiration to IKEA hacks. She has been the market assistant at ELLE Decor where she focused on curating product for the print magazine’s market pages.