The National Association of Realtors announced this week the release of a new Green MLS Implementation Guide designed to provide resources and steps for its hundreds of regional Multi-List affiliates. The goal is to improve the listing data collected and displayed so as to better highlight properties with “green” features.
There are a few well-known home rating systems in the U.S. today, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), that are being applied in the new homes arena in most areas of the country. While LEED certification is rare in the residential real estate market, the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is fairly common and used here in the midstate when builders and owners seek to quantify their energy-efficient improvements.
The new NAR guidelines seek to add these rating systems to the standard property fields in addition to more traditional items such as fireplaces, finished basements and the like.
Most local MLS organizations provide some recognition for specific features such as solar heating and high-efficiency appliances, but none have moved yet to codify them into a comprehensive “green feature” section within the MLS input process. I know something about this process because I personally presented the concept to my MLS board five years ago without gaining any traction.
I feel that the time for focusing on the energy-efficiency and sustainability of a home in the MLS process is long-past due, and I would suspect that the average property buyer on the street would agree with me. Now that the NAR is putting more oomph behind the movement, we can perhaps hope to see progress locally.