Disclosing your Utility Bills

We are back – with our special ‘Staying Warm!’ All about how to save money on your utility bills this winter, no matter where you live in the USA.

And that’s what we’re going to talk about now – those utility bills! And there’s three big reasons to keep them as low as possible. First, when you keep those bills low – you’re saving money! And that’s always a good thing. Second, when the bills are low, it means you’re using less energy – and that’s good for all of us.

But there’s a third reason too. And that is – if you’re selling, buyers might ask to see your utility bills! That’s right – today’s buyers might well ask to see a year’s worth of utility bills – gas, electric, oil, propane – to see how much THEY’LL be paying if they buy the place. And if those bills are low – buyers will be more inclined to make an offer. If they’re sky high? They might just look elsewhere.

This is a growing trend in real estate. Buyers all over the nation are asking to see the bills.

Of course, there’s no LAW saying to have to disclose your utility bills. Oh – unless you live in Austin, Texas, where it IS the law. Every seller in Austin has to have an energy audit done – and the buyer gets the results.

The same thing is true for NEW homes in Santa Fe New Mexico – they have to have an energy audit, and disclose the results to potential buyers.

So, if you take steps NOW to reduce your energy bills, it will save you money – and also make your house more attractive to buyers when the house goes on the market.

A couple of ideas here – on how to reduce those bills.

First, consider getting a smart thermostat. Like the Nest, or the Lyric, or the Ecobee. Those connected devices could cut your heating bill by 30%….that’s a huge savings, and every buyer will notice.

Second – consider upgrading your appliances. If your appliances are more than a decade old, chances are they are using MUCH more power than newer models. It’san investment, I know, but you will pay less money for electricity while you’re in the house – and the buyers will be very impressed when they see all these brand new, energy efficient appliances throughout the house.

Next up – change that furnace filter. Many people just never do that. And it’s a shame, because when your furnace filter is old and dirty, your system has to work much harder – at a much higher cost – to make the house comfortable. A new filter means the same temperature – at a lower cost.

And finally – how are your windows? I know, they’re expensive. But putting in new, energy efficient windows can really cut down your heating bills. Saving you money…and making your home more attractive to buyers in several ways – the utility bills will be lower, the new windows are a big selling point, and also – they’ll look great! So that’s a triple win.

So remember – if you’re planning to sell your house – you can expect the buyers will ask to see your utility bills. And the steps you take to get them down as low as possible – could save you money now – and make you money at the closing table.

And that’s just about as good as it gets.

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