Realtors’ Report Shows Consumers Want More Sustainability

The report comes just as Earth Day approaches.


Earth Day is Monday, April 22 and with that in mind, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has just released its REALTORS and Sustainability 2019 Report. The report highlights consumer preference about environmental sustainability features in real estate.

NAR has previously pledged a commitment to promoting a sustainability culture in real estate. Its recent report shows that consumers continue to prefer eco-friendly solutions in the real estate market.

NAR President John Smaby said, “The state of the environment is important to our members and their practices and the report shows that sustainability impacts consumers’ home buying decisions as well. Realtors® remain on the cutting edge of sustainability and continue to lead the conversation about energy efficiency in real estate.”

6,047 agents and brokers submitted their responses to the NAR and overall, responses showed that real estate consumers value sustainability in the marketplace. Fifty-nine percent of realtors said their home consumers were interested in sustainability features.

Seven out of ten of those who answered the survey said consumers lean favorably towards energy efficient promotions in real estate listings.

Eighty-three percent of realtors said solar panels are available in their local real estate market. The realtors acknowledged that listings that include solar panels tended to increase the perceived property value to buyers. However, a small percentage said that it didn’t seem to make a difference in the amount of time that a home remained on the market. Only 8% found that solar panels actually decreased a home’s presence in the marketplace.

Regional preferences were also highlighted in the report. The results showed that solar panels are more frequently found in ninety-four percent of markets in the Northeast, but that fourty-one percent of consumers on the West coast were more likely to deem a property more valuable when it had solar panels.

The report also highlighted what realtors consider to be the top market issues concerning sustainabillity. The responses from agents and brokers showed that thirty-eight percent of those surveyed lack an understanding of lending options when it comes to energy upgrades or solar panels. Furthermore, thirty-two percent of real estate professionals polled cited that there was a lack of information and materials offered to them.

Commercial real estate consumers also seemed to value sustainability. Seventy percent of real estate professionals said that energy efficient promotions in their commercial listings were valuable.

Real estate agents and brokers said clients valued three features in commercial buildings. Eighty-one percent said operation and utility costs were a huge consideration, while sixty-seven percent said energy efficient lighting was important. Indoor air quality was also a consideration for sixty-four percent of those surveyed.

The NAR says the report offers them valuable insight towards understanding their client preferences towards sustainability. The National Association of Realtors is the largest trade association in the U.S.

NAR’s full report can be found here.


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