A Chicago multiple listing service — Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED) MLS, which serves Chicago’s metropolitan area and northeastern Illinois — has added search fields and a disclosure document to its database to highlight a property’s "green" features that are designed to be less impactful to the environment.
The Sustainable Real Estate Alliance, a coalition of local urban and suburban Realtors who work with residential and commercial properties, worked with the MLS to implement the changes. Sarah Coulter and John Shaterian of @properties in Chicago, Laura Reedy Stuckel of LW Reedy Real Estate in Elmhurst, and Megan and Martin Bhatia of OM Realty Group in Chicago chair the group.
Each of the five holds at least one of three major green certifications available in real estate: EcoBroker, LEED (an internationally recognized "green" building certification system) Accredited Professional, and the National Association of Realtors’ Green designation.
The Green REsource Council, established by a NAR subsidiary, the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council, offers resources for MLSs seeking to recognize properties that have features intended to lessen environmental impacts.
"Homebuyers are growing more interested in green homes; home sellers hope to be rewarded for the green features in their homes; and appraisers are trying to calculate any increased value between a green home and a traditional home. A green MLS helps each of these groups," says Coulter, a real estate consultant, EcoBroker and LEED AP for @properties.
MRED’s MLS now includes optional search fields to indicate certifications including LEED, Energy Star and NAHB Green; an Energy Star Home Energy Rating (HERS) Index; and the presence of photovoltaic/solar panels, pre-wiring for these systems, a solar hot water system, a geothermal heating and cooling system, a tankless hot water heater, enhanced air filtration, low-flow plumbing fixtures, native/drought-resistant landscaping, a rainwater collection system, and a green roof, the coalition said.
A Green Disclosure document also gives sellers the choice to provide more details on their property’s green features.
The coalition says cities that have rolled out a "green" MLS have already seen rewards. A report from two certified EcoBrokers in Atlanta says green homes between September 2008 and February 2009 sold for 4.5 percent more than traditional homes and in about half the market time.
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