Thursday, April 30, 2009

Home Energy Audit Update

In a prior posting (see How Green Is Your Home... February 24th) I outlined the province's intention as part of their Green Energy Act known as Bill 150, to make it mandatory for home sellers to have a home energy audit done on their property prior to selling. The Ontario Real Estate Association, OREA immediately came out swinging, charging that this requirement would place a burden of additional cost on home sellers while at the same time giving home buyers additional leverage to drive down prices should an energy audit highlight major deficiencies in a property's energy efficiency.
In my opinion, OREA's points had some merit albeit minimal. Firstly, a home energy audit costs approximately $350.00 for which there is a government grant to recover part of that cost back ($150.00.) Secondly, as qualified REALTORS® it is our duty when listing a home, to price it reflective of its condition including the replacement of such energy related items as newer windows, heating systems etc. If we have done our homework and allocated for a home's potential energy inefficiencies in the listed price, them there should be little room for a buyer to negotiate the price lower on those grounds. It is not uncommon in today's market for a home to be "staged" sometimes at a cost of several hundred dollars in order to have it looking it's best for potential buyers. In other words let's fluff the place up to make it look good but what about that old furnace in the basement or those drafty windows? What is ultimately of greatest importance to the home buyer, a house that looks good or one that is not going to cost an arm and a leg to heat and or cool?
OREA has continued to lobby the government on this issue and has won a partial victory. The province has agreed to amend the pending legislation whereby the energy audits will only apply to single family homes. Further, although the audits will in effect remain as a mandatory requirement, buyers will be able to waive the home seller having to conduct an audit should the buyer be not interested in one.
OREA commissioned a survey by Ipsos Reid on this issue and according to the results 65% of Ontario homeowners opposed the mandatory home energy audits. Further, according to the poll, home buyers did not rate energy efficiency as an important factor in their home buying decisions putting more emphasis instead on price, location, neighbourhood, proximity to public transit etc. Please complete the survey above and let us know what you think.

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Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4


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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.