In response to growing consumer demand for green homes and building practices, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has introduced a new Green designation for realtors. The designation will help home buyers and sellers who care about energy efficiency and environmentally sound building practices identify realtors who can help them meet their green home goals.
As energy costs rise along with concern for the environment, homeowners are looking for innovative ways to save money and live responsibly, said NAR President Richard F. Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif. Realtors who earn the Green designation will add value to the real estate transaction with their knowledge of resource-efficient building materials and processes, as well as their understanding of simple actions that can reduce energy and water waste.
Forty percent of realtors report that green building is important to their business and clients, while 87 percent believe it will be of even more interest a year from now. NAR is engaged in various green building issues through initiatives like the Smart Growth Action Grants Program that helps realtor associations create livable communities. In addition, many state and local realtor associations are developing programs to teach members about energy-efficient and environmentally conscious home features.
The First Green Designation Core Course will be held Nov. 5-6, at the 2008 Realtors Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida. To earn the designation, realtors must complete the core course plus one elective. The program is designed to help realtors:
- Understand what makes a property green
- Explain to clients and customers the cost 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
- Guide buyers in purchasing resource-efficient homes