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Buyers Go for Green Houses in New Trend

A new trend is emerging in home buying and selling. According to the National Association of Realtors, more buyers are looking for green homes.

Because of this trend, NAR has begun a new program to certify agents as green agents. They will be able to understand what makes a property green, explain to clients the benefits of green building features and practices, distinguish between industry rating and classification systems, list and market green homes and buildings, discuss the financial grants and incentives available to homeowners, and guide buyers in purchasing resource-efficient homes, said Michelle Wardlaw, spokeswoman for NAR. In most cases, the green designation would be for energy efficient homes.

“Because the inventory of certified LEED

As of August, the country only had 369 home projects were certified for LEED and 888 certified units. Despite the trend, in this housing market, buyers may not consider energy-efficiency as a goal in home buying, she added. They will look for energy-efficient homes if their ultimate goal is realizing cost savings after they buy. Many people are interested in that, but they have many choices available to them.

In the Phoenix area, one homeowner reported that the low-E windows and high-efficient air conditioning and heat have not attracted buyers. While some buyers were impressed with the amount of work put into making the house energy efficient, they ultimately bought elsewhere, commenting on the age of the kitchen, he said. In fact, he told buyers how low his electric bill was in the summer, but it made no difference to the potential buyers.

Other areas of the country are more proactive for looking for the green homes. Wardlaw said NAR created the Green Designation Subject Matter Expert Panel. Agents on the panel come from Portland, Ore.; Berkeley, Calif.; Winston-Salem, N.C.; and Sarasota, Fla. However, Wardlaw couldn’t estimate how many requests for green homes agents receive on average per month.

Agents interested in promoting green homes, can take the Green Designation courses, Wardlaw said. The first will take place Nov. 5-6, during the Realtors Conference and Expo in Orlando, Fla., and Nov. 20-21 at NAR’s headquarters in Chicago. Agents must complete the core course plus one elective to receive the designation. To register for the course, agents are asked to visit or e-mail [email protected].

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