Just in time for Earth Day this week, the National Association of Realtors released a website designed to help multiple listing services identify and market features in their listings that lessen the environmental impacts of the homes.

The Green MLS Tool Kit encourages MLSs to go "green" by adding searchable fields and/or a checklist of ecological features to listings input forms. Such features could include native vegetation for landscaping, recycled building materials, a solar water heating system, and graywater plumbing, among many others.

The kits includes data entry form recommendations, information about green building certifications, and case studies of MLSs that have already implemented the change. These include the Tucson Association of Realtors MLS, the Atlanta-based FMLS, the Traverse Area Association of Realtors MLS in Michigan, the RMLS of Oregon, and the MRIS of Virginia, among others.

Part of the idea behind the toolkit is that highlighting homes with green features can make them easier to sell. In Atlanta, for example, certified green homes sold 3.6 percent closer to the asking price and were on the market 31 days less than traditional homes last year, said the association’s Green REsource Council.

Real estate technology and research consulting firm WAV Group compiled a list of 10 things that associations and MLSs can also do to lessen their footprint, including reducing use of toner and paper in favor of electronic document creation, storage, faxing and signing.


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