Why Realtors & Appraisers are Last Place to Go for Green Value Progress

Last week I attended the Building America Transaction Process Summit, sponsored by the DOE.  It’s my fifth somewhat similar meeting in 16 months!

While I find it critically important to represent the perspective of a Realtor and MLS user in the conversation, I find it interesting and a bit frustrating that they are designed looking from the vantage point of upstream down.  These agendas are focused on problems happening downstream within the real estate transaction, without factoring in how that picture would look different (and some problems eliminated) if the problem-solving was focused upstream too.

Sandy Adomatis is an appraiser in Florida and active in leadership at the Appraisal Institute as well as their in-house expert on green valuation.  She’s also my favorite fellow change-maker on the green valuation topic!  She was instrumental in creating the Appraisal Institute’s Green & Energy Efficiency Addendum.

Her excellent summary of the Transaction Process Summit is worth a read.

She clearly captures the root causes in detail.

  • Fannie & Freddie are broken and do not recognize energy efficiency or high performance homes
  • Appraisers need direct access to builder/contractor HPH/EE data
  • As a work around to above, the Appraisal Institute Green Addendum is works – but builders and contractors need to initiate it for it to matter
  • Builders/contractors need to brag/price their HPH/EE upgrades
  • Appraisal Management Companies need to choose competent appraisers and pay them more for these more complex properties.
  • MLS fields need to standardize
  • Everyone needs more training on upstream/downstream details

There is some work happening/possible on the bottom 5 which to me represent work arounds. I’m proud to be involved in progress happening here.  But we need to join together as one industry, not fractured stakeholder industries, with a laser focus on improvements here.

The top 2 need to be solved first for any significant change, but are far more complex.

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