Yup- you read that right. I attended the 'Color Me Green Understanding within the Lines in the Green Real Estate Business' class for Realtors at NVAR Convention the other day. The first presenter, Julie (can't recall her last name, sorry..) that speak on behalf of EERE (Energy Efficiency Renewable Energy) Department of Energy, said it that "..if you are selling a house that have many of eco-friendly features - just because it has those features - you can't call that home, is a "green" home." Unless, the house is certified via third-party verification. For example, Energy Star. Or Earth Craft. LEED. Etc.
The verification process is the most important part of a green home. This is what I write before in my previous post.
"Does it mean that without certification we won't be able to put a label that this house is green? Yes you got it right. Though, the certification itself is 'voluntary' but, you can be assured that this is almost a 100% sure thing. For labeling purposes, it is required to get the homes 'independently' certified. The thing is without certification, there won't be green homes. Who's to say that the home is in fact a 'green home?' How do we (customers) know it? "
The five features that sellers can use to market their home when their home has some of eco-friendly products:
- energy improvements
- water savings features
- reused/ reclaimed
- healthy spaces
- green living
What you can do if your house is not certified as green, is to have a generic statement about the eco-friendly products' features. Tell a story if you will, by "quoting" the benefits of these features from the sources, i.e. for energy-efficient appliances you can use Energy Star, Watersense for water savings appliances and etc. Just don't call it green. I once saw an agent put it in a remarks that the house this agent listed has 4 geothermal systems installed, thus, it's a green home. Huh?
She also says to 'keep the receipts.' So you can show it to your buyers that your home does have some of the eco-friendly features above.