MLS & Associations

Industry push to raise visibility of home energy efficiency improvements

MLSs seen as key to standardizing and improving data available to homebuyers

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Everybody in real estate knows the rap against "green" and energy efficiency improvements to existing homes: Owners can invest a lot of money and save on utility bills, but then when they go to sell they often find it’s tough to get paybacks through higher prices on their homes. Complicating the situation is the fact that many multiple listing services do not have "green fields" in their listing formats to highlight energy efficiency improvements, so buyers who are potentially interested in high-performance homes can’t shop for them effectively. Then come the appraisers and lenders. In an era of appraisal management companies, assignments often are made based on low fees, and appraisers with no training in valuing green improvements either ignore them or give them only minimal upward adjustments. And when they try to give significant adjustments, underwriters often challenge them or simply ask for a revised, lower number. Builders routinely market new homes carrying Energy...