Real Estate Groups Expanding Green Features in MLS

Real Estate Groups Expanding Green Features in MLS

Su Verde, the Proud Green Home of Louisville, was built to achieve multiple green building certifications.

One of the keys to increasing consumer awareness of green or high performance homes is adding that information to Multiple Listing Service descriptions for homes in local markets. In cities such as Washington, D.C., Nashville, and Louisville, the MLS systems have added information fields for high performance home features. To date, more than 300 of the 860 MLS systems in the U.S. have adopted green fields.

In Louisville, a real estate group, Greening the MLS, is seeking to add more green features to home listings. The Greening the MLS group wants to educate homebuyers on energy efficiency in real estate and help homeowners get full value for those features adding categories of information to the MLS. The MLS, or multiple listing service, is a system in which real estate agents and others list houses for sale, providing details such as the number of bedrooms, the year it was built and how it’s heated.

In 2015, the group succeeded in adding to the Louisville MLS eight categories. Four of the eight fields are for formal certifications: ENERGY STAR Home Certification, Home Energy Rating System (HERS), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, specifically LEED for Homes) and National Green Building Standard (NGBS). The other four of the fields indicate construction features: solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, tankless water heaters and spray foam insulation.

Insider Louisville reports the group is working on a new list of categories, ratings and certifications that it believes should be added to the MLS. Any additions must be approved by the Metro Search Inc. board of directors, which oversees the Louisville MLS. As interest in green and sustainable building grows, the idea is to make it easier to connect buyers with homes that have the features they're looking for.

The increasing number of green homes in the market, including those like the Proud Green Home of Louisville at Norton Commons, are driving the importance of real estate listing that include high performance aspects of a home, according to Sy Safi of Uber UberGreen Spaces & Homes.

Safi built the Proud Green Home of Louisville, also known as Su Verde, to demonstrate energy and water saving green building practices, many of which are not captured by the current MLS categories. Even if homebuyers aren't looking specifically for a green home, they are asking for green features like energy efficiency and a tight building enveloped that cuts down on drafts in the home, Safi said.

Greening the MLS, also referred to as “Value for High-Performing Homes,” is an advocacy campaign of the U.S. Green Building Council. The campaign seeks to connect the supply of healthy, efficient, green homes in a community to the growing demand, and enable the free flow of information from which brokers, buyers, sellers, and appraisers can better communicate the value of these homes.

“After mortgage or rental payments, energy is the single largest monthly expense for most households. These green fields convey the performance of a home, similar to miles per gallon for a car. Better performing, more efficient and comfortable homes should begin to show a higher value as the green fields are used to analyze the relative prices of green homes compared to others,” says Nancy Church, Executive Director, Kentucky USGBC.

Read more about green home certifications.


Topics: Building Green, Certification / LEED, Going Green, Proud Green Home of Louisville, Sustainability Trends & Statistics, Sustainable Communities

Companies: U.S. Green Building Council, UberGreen Spaces & Homes


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