The Green MLS Comes to Chicagoland Real Estate

January 01, 2010

We’re pleased to share developing news that Northern Illinois’ Mulitple Listing Service (MLS), will be adding support for green building features in 2010. Some real estate professionals may have already noticed this when logging into the MLS. This development is something LEEDforHomesIllinois.org has been keeping a close eye on, and we are very pleased to see this implemented. An official announcement on the MLS changes will be forthcoming in the new year for the MLS and its effects to finding Chicago real estate.

The Green MLS will consist of many new categories for identifying property characteristics for a green home. These new MLS features will allow competent real estate agents to be able to market a green home’s building components, such as water efficient appliances, insulation type, and recycled content of building materials. Building technologies such as solar energy systems, insulated concrete forms, and structurally insulated panels (SIPs) can also be indicated in the Green MLS.

In addition to specific building features, a home’s overall “greenness” can be indicated in the Green MLS by some of the third-party certifications that are available. Homebuyers will now be able to tell whether a home was designed to a green building standard, such as LEED for Homes Silver or 3 stars in the Chicago Green Home program. A home’s energy efficiency can be listed, indicated by its HERS index. Even better, homes that are third-party verified, through a program such as a LEED for Homes certification, will be listed in the MLS. This will help consumers know that a home was not only designed to be green, but also constructed properly and tested to truly perform as a green building. Real estate professionals will be able to assist buyers locate a LEED-certified home.

The availability of this information is exciting. Looking forward, once people start buying and selling green homes, there will be data for green Chicagoland market transactions. Appraisers will be able to use this data and perform adjustments to see how much more people are willing to pay in the Chicago market for items such solar energy or a LEED-certified homeOther metropolitan areas that currently have a green MLS have seen higher selling premiums and lower marketing times for a green home, and we anticipate this trend will translate in the Chicago and northern Illinois markets.

All of this will strengthen an already-sound economic arguement for green building, persuading more builders to construct or renovate to LEED for Homes standards. Even better, the Green MLS will help identify market shifts. Eventually, those NOT building green will run the risk of creating a home that will be obsolescent much earlier than a green home, lowering that non-green building’s property value.  Of course, a thorough market analysis is a long time off, but these are certainly exciting times for green builders in northern Illinois.

What can real estate professionals do to prepare for the Green MLS? Well, clients will likely need an agent’s guideance to complete the homeowner’s green disclosure document. If you or your agent is unfamiliar with terms like U-value, HERS, LEED, ERV, or VOC, consider getting more education, either through the NAR GREEN designation, or by becoming a certified EcoBroker. In fact, by taking the Eco Broker courses through Eco Achievers, you can become a certified EcoBroker at a discounted rate through January for just $375.

Categories: Green Building

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.



I ampleased to hear of another MLS going green. As President of Green Real Estate Education, I hope you share that we personally trained 300 agents for the Chicago Association of Realtors® in late 2008 to begin this process. A leading real estate company in Chicago, Dream Town Realty had Green Real Estate Education training early on and has built an excellent success model of a real estate company branding green in Chicago markets adding another 100 to the agents who have the company’s certification in Chicago. FOR UNDER $100-
The Chicago MLS—Midwest Real Estate Data LLC (MRED) MLS, which serves Chicago’s metropolitan area and northeastern Illinois has added search fields and a disclosure document to highlight a property’s “green” features. Through the agents urging who have been trained in green and those who have taken Green Real Estate Education courses, there are now over 25 other MLS’s who offer green feature for agents to highlight, including MLS’s in Arizona, Texas, South Carolina, Northern Illinois MLS, and the MLS in Portland, Oregon. This is huge for the efforts of higher appraisals for energy loans and higher re-sale value for green homes for an appraiser. There are close to 1600 MLS’s in the US so we have a long way to go. I have completed close to 400 transactions in my own career so I do understand the business.




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