On the other hand, Williams warns against some upscale upgrades. She said she worked with one homeowner who spent $80,000 installing photovoltaic solar panels and geothermal heating in 2004, then added that amount to their expected sale price.
“However, there just weren’t any people at the time willing to pay that premium and it slowed down our sale and ultimately the sellers received almost no premium over similar homes without such a system,” she said.
Of course, the value of green upgrades also depends on the market, and the level of awareness and interest in solar panels and other upgrades. In other words, as the National Bureau of Economic Research report notes, the sale premium for solar panels is “larger in communities with a greater share of college graduates and of registered Prius hybrid vehicles.”
Green home improvements can put more green in a seller’s wallet, but only if approached and marketed properly.