By Rich Williams and Jay Corrales
One of the current advocacy efforts that the Residential Committee is working on is “Greening the MLS” in San Diego County. Simply put, the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is an online resource that the Real Estate industry uses to list real estate for sale. The MLS does much more than that, but a critical aspect of its purpose is sharing data on properties for sale.
Almost every geographical area has an MLS. For Example, we have an MLS for San Diego County and Orange County has its own MLS. Orange County has already “Greened” their MLS, but San Diego is lagging behind. The holdup is not for lack of having a clear pathway to achieving a Green MLS. There are plenty that have gone before us whose pathway we can follow, and there is even a resource called “The Green MLS Toolkit” that provides the necessary tools to establish a Green MLS.
Greening the MLS in San Diego is arguably the most important action item on the Residential Committee’s agenda for 2013. Having a Green MLS will allow purchasers of properties to look for homes that have Green Features, will allow sellers of properties to advertise verified green features, and will allow appraisers to differentiate value of Green Features, in the same way that number of bedrooms and square footage are currently used to differentiate value.
Thus, Greening the MLS is the first step needed in order to establish measurable value to Green Features of properties. This includes the value of third-party certifications such as LEED for Homes and GreenPoint Rated. A recent study by the University of California of 1.6 million homes sold in California between 2007 and 2012 demonstrated that Green Certified Homes sold for a 9% price premium (read about it HERE.)
It has been long established in Commercial Buildings that the investment in green building features and certifications creates a positive return on investment. This is why companies like Hines Real Estate and DPR Construction are creating net-zero energy office buildings. However, in the absence of having a Green MLS in San Diego consumers have yet to buy in to the idea that Residential Green Building makes good financial sense. Currently, the comparable value of a Green Home is still lacking the data necessary to compare against non-green homes.
Greening the MLS in San Diego will vastly improve the move towards Residential Green Building practices and consumer demand for green homes. We hope you will join the Residential Committee in 2013 to support SDGBC to expand the residential green building marketplace.
Rich Williams is the president of ArtHaus, a Residential Development company that constructs/remodels and provides consulting on LEED for Homes projects in San Diego County. He is a California Licensed General Contractor, a California Real Estate Licensee, LEED AP BD+C, LEED AP Homes, Building Performance Institute Building Analyst, and is a USGBC REGREEN Trained Professional.
Jay Corrales is a sustainability advocate and eco-entrepreneur born in San Diego, California. He is a Partner in Turner Real Estate, a family-owned California real estate company with offices in San Diego and San Francisco Bay Area. Jay is responsible for the oversight of 50 real estate agents throughout California, educating agents and clients on the benefits of green buildings and sustainable communities, and incorporating green strategies into real estate purchase and sale decisions.