Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Greening the MLS and why it is important

Greening of the MLS
    
Greening the MLS (multiple listing service) is a large task in North Carolina.  There are over 50 different MLS providers statewide.  Each of those providers uses their own system, and input forms to list homes that are for sale in their area.  This makes having a uniform message from one place to the next important. 

    Why is it important at all?  Well here is the thing. If we as a community want to see energy efficiency gain some traction state wide, and become the norm that the consumer asks for when purchasing a new home, then the consumer needs to know that the home they are buying is energy efficient.   

   It’s kind of like going to buy a car (since this is the analogy that people like to make) and the manufacturer not supplying you with the miles per gallon rating.  The only way to know what the MPG's for the car you’re interested in is to buy it and find out for yourself.  Then it is too late.  What if that car cost you $100 dollar a week to fill up (like mine does and is also the reason that I'm going to be bike commuting much of the summer)?  What if the new home your buying has a mortgage that you can barely afford and once you guy it you discover that it costs $200+ dollars a month to pay the utility bills? 

   By having energy efficient, and green programs listed on the MLS state wide, then the consumer will know if the home they are buying is better than the next.  They will be able to tell their agent that they want to buy an ENERGY STAR, or a Healthy Built Home, etc. and their agents can find homes that match that criteria. 

   The program that a house is qualified under is only a start.  The other key ingredient to the MLS pie is the HERS score.  The HERS score (Home Energy Rating Score) is a way to compare homes apples to apples. 

   Greening the MLS state wide would benefit everyone involved in energy efficient housing. However, if we do not all, as a unified front, push for the greening of the MLS it will not happen.  And until it does we are all collectively leaving money on the table.

For more information on Greening the MLS visit:  www.greenthemls.org

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