Pearl Certification Boosts Energy Efficient Home Sale Prices

Pearl Certification Boosts Energy Efficient Home Sale Prices

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Getting a home certified by Pearl Certification can increase its value by thousands of dollars, a new study has found.

The study, performed by a team of appraisers led by a national expert on valuing properties with solar installations and energy efficient features, looked at a set of 27 Pearl-certified homes in Virginia and Maryland and compared them with 35 sales for similar homes that had not been certified.

“The study found that the average price premium for a Pearl-certified home was more than 5 percent when the certification had adequate market exposure,” said author Sandra Adomatis, “Our findings are consistent other studies from across the U.S., which consistently show a premium on the sale of homes with green and energy efficiency certifications.”

In the Central Virginia market, where Pearl launched in 2016, the average price premium for Pearl-certified homes was 5 percent. Premiums in areas of Northern Virginia where Pearl Partner real estate agents had marketed the Pearl certification effectively ranged from 2.2 percent to 4.2 percent. Homes that had Pearl Certification, but were not marketed as Pearl- certified, showed lower, and in some case negative, premiums.

“The study’s findings illustrate what we see in the market,” said President and COO Robin LeBaron. “Buyers want energy efficient, high-performing homes, and they will pay more for them.”

“But buyers are only willing to pay a premium if they have credible, third-party information about the home’s features,” LeBaron said. “If buyers don’t know the home is third-party certified, there’s no reason to expect them to pay a premium.”

Pearl’s certifications provide buyers with information about the home’s high-performing features, such as insulation, high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, ENERGY STAR appliances, and smart devices. Pearl also provides an extensive set of marketing tools to help buyers understand why these features matter.

 “Buyer education is central to Pearl’s mission,” said CEO Cynthia Adams. “We provide our Pearl Partner real estate agents with flyers highlighting the home features, placards that can be hung around the home, and social media posts. When agents use these education materials, their buyers really understand why a Pearl-certified home can be a great investment,” Adams said.

“Certification, and the education that comes with it, are what makes the value of an energy efficient home visible,” Adams said. “This study shows that when that value is visible, buyers will pay for it.”


Pearl Certification, based in Vienna, Virginia, offers certifications in Virginia and Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Washington DC, and is expanding to Massachusetts and California this fall.

Pearl also provides professional development for real estate agents through its Pearl Partner program, which trains agents on the use of MLS Green Fields, and identifying and marketing high-performing home features.

Pearl is an ENERGY STAR partner, an NAR REach Technology Accelerator company, and has a licensing agreement with the Appraisal Institute to populate their Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum.

Read more about green building certifications.


Topics: Building Green, Certification / LEED, Cost of Ownership, Energy Audits, Energy Star, Sustainability Trends & Statistics

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