The MLS Greening was proposed on Earth Day, 2010 to the MLS Board of Directors of the St. Augustine and St. Johns County Board of Realtors by Jeannette Moore, broker and owner of Green Florida Properties.
As chair of the newly formed Green MLS committee, Moore succeeded in adding energy and related "green" features to the multiple listing service (MLS) used by Realtors in the St Johns County area. She has volunteered to help other MLS Boards around the state add pertinent categories and green features to their MLS systems in order to hasten the process throughout the state.
The unfolding effort to add "green" features to real estate listings will make it easier for buyers to search for homes with energy features, appraisers to correctly assess the value of a home with energy features and lenders to add value for a home's energy efficiency qualities. Sellers will also be recognized for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades in which they have invested, which will set their homes apart from other homes on the market. An additional benefit will be the motivation for more homeowners to invest in energy saving upgrades.
As Moore emphasizes, "This is an important step for residential and commercial properties everywhere. “Green” properties are important to many of the out of state buyers seeking to move to Florida and without those searchable energy features many areas of Florida are losing potential buyers to those areas which have already integrated the green data fields into their MLS systems. Homes that save energy or provide a higher indoor air quality are becoming requirements for many home buyers.”
For every listing with sustainable features, the MLS will provide the date of measurement or certification and agents will be required to obtain copies of the confirming documents and incorporate those into the listing features of residential properties. Data fields to be incorporated will include items such as solar photovoltaic panels, low flow plumbing fixtures, programmable thermostats, native landscaping, roof color/type, Energy Star appliances and lighting, low E windows and upgraded insulation.
"Capturing market information about the transactions involving these properties will allow appraisers and lenders to recognize the value of higher performing homes in appraisals and loans," said Wally Conway, USGBCNF Residential Green Building Committee chairman. "The end result will be more economical, comfortable and safe homes marketed for their high quality features. Accurate representation with searchable market data will make this work."
Moore was elected to a three-year term on the board of the Florida Green Building Coalition as a Director in the Real Estate, Finance and Property Services category. In early 2009, she became the first North Florida Realtor to earn the National Association of Realtors’ Green® designation. She earned her EcoBroker® certification later that year, followed by a Class 3 Energy Rater certification in mid 2010.
“In real estate, the three most often heard words were ‘location, location and location,” said Moore. “If you are currently involved in real estate in some capacity, you are more than likely now hearing the words ‘green, green and green’.”
Moore and USGBCNF plan to hold seminars for Realtors about the new green MLS fields to educate as many real estate licensees to the values of green features which will in turn educate more of the general public.