Is your home at least 20 years old? Is it 30 years old? Older?  Well, if you stop and think for a minute, that old house you are about to sell isn’t what it used to be, and homebuyers know it. True, many homebuyers are still looking for a great deal in the best location, but here is the kicker…they are also looking for homes that won’t cost an arm and a leg to live in and keep up. So, these homebuyers are now looking at new homes that are going to perform better and be cheaper to up-keep than a house built in 1975. (There are exceptions to this rule but on average it’s true). However, there is something you can do to set your more mature home apart from the rest.

The market for third party certifications of homes is growing. More and more first-time and experienced homebuyers are looking into Home Energy Rating System (HERS), EnergyStarEarthCraft, and Leadership in Energy & Envioronmental Design (LEED) certifications. So, here is some advice for homeowners who are thinking of selling their house that was built 30 or more years ago. YOU NEED TO MODERNIZE YOUR HOME. Though this may sound daunting, there are many easy and affordable ways to go about updating your home.

In Georgia, there are many rebates via GA Power’s EarthCents program. In addition, getting a HERS rating or Building Performance Institute (BPI) Energy Audit could be very beneficial. These certifications give you an idea of your home’s energy efficiency. Even a simple blower door or duct blaster test can tell you a lot about the kind of improvements you can make to tighten your home’s “envelope.” One of the easiest ways to do this is by air sealing your attic and/or crawlspace by targeting holes and chases. After air sealing, the next thing to focus on would be adding insulation. Tightening the duct system with mastic is another great way to prevent air leakages (many builders neglect to do this during construction). If you want to take your improvements further, you can always replace your HVAC equipment with newer systems and appliances with EnergyStar models.

All in all, any improvements you make to your home will increase your likelihood of selling, but a diagnostics test can help you be more successfull by targeting the specifics needs of your house. In addition, any certification you can list is one more thing you can add to your house’s “resume” to make it stand out in a competitive market.