By: John Shaterian, REALTOR©, GREEN, LEED AP, Om Realty Group
Green, in my opinion, is a term without specific definition. The definition of green should ultimately be defined by the end user. There are many different green client types as well as different national and local certification levels of green. However, there must be in place an agreed upon set of parameters in which society can frame an end users individual definition. A government’s role should be to provide broad brush strokes for the parameters, and allow consumers sort out the details via the open marketplace.
There has been some talk of governments possibly mandating energy audits to be provided by the seller of a property prior to selling the property. An energy audit or rating is a highly specialized field that produces third party scientific and specific tests to rate the existing energy efficiency of a home. After a couple of different tests are run the results produce a numerical score that can be place on a HERS Index to understand the current level of efficiency. For more detailed explanation please visit www.natresnet.org. Should governments require this level of testing for every home in the current marketplace prior to sale,they may run the risk of stigmatizing properties that score poorly, not to mention the expense of a procedure whose results would yield no new information to anyone involved in the transaction. These tests best serve the buyer of a property in order to make improvements that will fall in line with the buyer’s own personal definition of green. Properties that undergo certification are generally required to have this testing done in order to help satisfy requirements for the certification, in which case the test serves a marketable function for the property.
I am a member of an organization in Chicago, Sustainable Real Estate Alliance, which is made up of a couple green Realtors®.We have been developing a method for differentiating green listings from traditional listings on the MLS via the addition of a few new search fields and a green disclosure document. We currently in the final stages of the process, and our hope is that it will be able to be implemented soon.