MLS Greens Up

Today the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) implemented brand new searchable features to help distinguish energy-efficient and green homes.  I have a leg up on this information because I was able  to assist on this project with a representative from the MLS on behalf of the MBA’s Green Council along with another builder.  I have seen how this will work already and it should be a great first step in tracking and promoting green construction.  These changes are going to help consumers find homes with these features as well as assist appraisers with creating and tracking patterns of value among those features.  The three new searchable categories are as follows:

  • Energy Certified or Energy Star
  • Green Built Certified
  • Green Features

In order to submit for Green Built certified you must have a 3rd party verification and sign off and submit a form to MLS.  The certifications listed currently are LEED, NAHB Green Built, or Wisconsin Green Built home.  For Energy Certified you must also submit a form and have 3rd party verification such as Energy Star for new homes, or and Energy Audit on an existing home.

The new searchable green features will require you to submit a checklist to MLS that shows which green features you currently have.  Some of the items incorporated are:

  • Geothermal Heating/Cooling
  • Solar Electric
  • Solar Hot water
  • HRVS
  • Energy Star Windows
  • Energy Star Skylights
  • 95% Efficient Furnaces
  • 15 Seer A/C
  • Advanced framing techniques
  • Spray Foam insulation
  • Tankless water heaters
  • Centrally Wired Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Insulated basements
  • Water Sense Certified fixtures
  • Energy Star Appliances
  • Recycled building materials
  • Low VOC paint

There are many more classifications in addition to this.  The intent of the Green Features is to point out that they exist in the home and the onus will be on the Realtor, Customer, and Appraisers to check the submitted MLS form to see which individual features the home has.  At this point you are unable to search specifically for features such as Geothermal, Spray foam, etc.  There would simply be too many features to search for and would bog down the system.  It will be interesting to go back in a few months and see if Wisconsin will show higher values or quicker sales times for these features like other areas of the country have.  If you have any questions or would like information about the changes please feel free to contact me.

Here is a link to the new disclosure sheets that will be filled out and are required to claim one of the three categories in mls.  File Link (updated 6/4/2010)

Belman Homes

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3 Responses to “MLS Greens Up”
  1. Baird Scott says:

    Great article, thanks. Btw. I totally love this template, it’s really nice.

  2. Sherry P. says:

    This is good news. I for sure want an Energy Star rated home when I purchase in the next two years. Now I won’t have to go thru and read every listing and call builders to ask if they certify them, right?

    • belmanhomes says:

      Selecting an Energy Star home is a good move. They are quite a bit more energy efficient than normal new construction and have much better air quality. Your Realtor will be able to search for Energy Star homes right now. 3rd party sites like,, however, may not have that feature available for awhile if at all. You can also look at the federal Energy Star website to find local partners.

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