Realtors Tool Up for Green Home Buying


With energy efficiency now considered more carefully in home buying decisions, realtors are undertaking purposive efforts, in both the national and local levels, to acquire a professional understanding of green building and homes’ energy performance.

One of the initiatives launched nationally was the green designation and benefits program that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently created for real estate agents. NAR’s Green Designation provides not only an advanced understanding of green building. It also advocates for sustainable business practices enabling realtors to seek out, recognize, and market properties with green features.

Pivotal to buying decisions

Realtors Tool Up for Green Home Buying

The importance of realtors having a professional knowledge of green building standards is underscored by a 2013 survey showing that heating and cooling costs were important to 85% of home buyers. The same study indicated that commuting costs come secondary in the buying criteria, with 73% of home buyers considering this factor as “somewhat” important in their purchase decisions.

Locally, the green requirement from professional real estate agents is already being addressed. The Realtors Association of Sarasota Manatee (RASM) organized a “Green Summit: The State of Green” which presented an overview of the state of the “green” principles in the current real estate market from the viewpoint of individual residential units to the larger community in June 2015.

Rating homes’ energy efficiency

Among other things, summit participants were drilled on the importance of the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) which measures and grades the energy consumption of residences. HERS, it was emphasized, can be a potent sales tool, considering that a good energy-efficiency index for Manatee-Sarasota homes for sale should significantly help in attracting potential buyers.

On specific matters like the HERS standards, continuing realtor education is provided under the NAR green designation program which is easily accessible at via a free webinar, “Understanding Your NAR Green Member Benefits.” Through this facility, realtor-members who earn NAR’s Green Designation will receive information most relevant on the industry, such as monthly newsletters and professional marketing materials.

Green community sampling

Information culled from this NAR facility helps realtors bust misconceptions regarding green construction, one of which is that energy-efficient houses are expensive. Zeroing in on projects by green homebuilders, indeed confirm pricing for green homes can be very reasonable.

Manatee-Sarasota homes for sale delivered by national builder DR Horton, for instance, count not only among the energy-efficient and environment-friendly residences but are also priced at reasonable levels. One sampling from this green builder is at the Calusa Park community in Nokomis and one of its entries in the 2015 Manatee-Sarasota Parade of Homes. Priced in the upper $300s, this home model has a floor area of 1,983 square feet, featuring three bedrooms, two baths, den and a two-car garage, plus paver drive and walkway.

Another move-in ready DR Horton build at Calusa Park currently available among Manatee-Sarasota home for sale is a 1,804 square-foot, three-bedroom residence offered at slightly under the $300s. Amenities in this community include a pavilion and swimming pool.