SEE WHAT OTHERS
ARE SAYING ABOUT
THE GREEN MLS TOOL KIT
"I congratulate the National Association of REALTORS® for this essential toolkit that takes the next important step: translating green construction into demonstrable value for brokers and their customers all over the country."
Robert R. Jones
National Association of Home Builders
"The new Green MLS Tool Kit will make it even easier for the real estate industry to connect potential homebuyers to healthy, high-performing homes."
Vice President, Residential Development
U.S. Green Building Council
"National Association of REALTORS® and its partners in releasing the Green MLS Tool Kit will help all homebuyers make more informed choices about the cost of their housing and where up-front payment may lead to long-term saving."
"The Appraisal Institute is pleased to participate in this important effort to enhance the data found in the MLS."
Leslie Sellers, MAI, SRA
Understand the Big Picture
Like any technology system, Green MLS is only as helpful as the info that goes in. And, as the Green MLS movement expands and grows we are learning that it's not just good design that makes a Green MLS effective — it's the community around it that makes the difference. The best Green MLS understand that professionals from many industries have a need for Green MLS, and ultimately share the same goal — ensuring fair value for good green homes.
- Buyer agents want to make sure that clients are getting good features at the right price
- Listing agents want to make sure clients get the most value at resale
- Green home builders and contractors strive for work that is valued in the marketplace
- Appraisers want to manage a process that fairly assesses if and how much various green features are valued
Green MLS is the focal point that brings the green home marketplace together, but it is the process around Green MLS and not the fields themselves that support value for green homes. The diagram below show that it's the information exchange about green homes that makes value transparent in the process. Documentation is key!
The diagram emphasizes why reliable information about green homes — either new or existing — is so important. Documentation of a properties Green features must become a part of the data exchange: captured in a Green MLS and/or a disclosure that is made part of the Contract.
And every industry plays a role in sharing reliable information. It begins with the builder or contractor who builds the green features into a home. It is critical that when work is complete the home owner receives some sort of documentation about the work done and any performance results expected. A certificate issued by a third-party like the local utility or a green building standards organization is that much better.
Then it is up to the homeowner to share that information at resale time. Documentation from the builder can be complimented with real-life performance data such as a one-year history of energy or water history for the home. In many cases, the information provided when work was complete reflects the projected or "modeled" performance for the home. And utility bill information shows the actual usage. But models are estimates and can vary. And utility bills for the same home can vary widely for example, if one family likes to wear sweaters in cold weather and another likes lots of electronic gizmos. So the listing agent is best equipped to describe a green home when they have as much back-up documentation as possible. And a buyer's agent can best equip their clients to assess how a green home might perform for them those same extra documents. A well-planned set of Green MLS fields, enhanced with either digital or paper copies of backup documents helps the listing agent and the buyer's agent both do their jobs.
Then once a buyer and seller come together on a green home the appraiser can use those same documents when assessing value for the home. The document trail helps an appraiser understand why the subject home deserves a different set of comparables based on the green features they can verify through the Green MLS fields and/or the green attachments.
Finally, real estate agents in the market can begin to pull sales data that shows trends for how green homes are valued in that area. The fields and attachments help create a subset of closing data that shows if and how much green homes may be valued in the market — either through higher closing prices or lower market times or both.