Multiple Listing Service adds green qualities
Realtors now can provide detailed information about energy efficiency
July 11, 2010
Steamboat Springs — The Steamboat Springs real estate community is taking a more detailed approach to sustainable homes starting now.
Angela Ashby, of Prudential Steamboat Realty, reported last week that a committee of members of the Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service has just paved the way for home sellers and Realtors to list the green attributes of their property in a consistent and credible way.
Ashby's colleague at Prudential, Suellyn Godino, who is chairwoman of the MLS committee, and Board of Realtors President Ulrich Salzgeber helped lead the push to establish a list of sustainable home features. They vary from rammed earth homes to heat-recovery ventilators that are worthy of an EE designation on the standard MLS sheet.
The sheet allows Realtors and clients to quickly assess the facts about a home listed for sale.
"This is a big step, and I'm so proud that this was well received by the MLS committee and the MLS board and that we can now see the fruits of our labor," Ashby said.
She added that Tim McCarthy, of Mount Werner Realty, and Emerald Mountain Energy, was a valuable resource for answering technical questions during the two-year process.
New additions to the MLS are the list of sustainable attributes with abbreviations — radon mitigation systems, for example — backed by a glossary that defines those terms. It allows Realtors representing clients with specific wants and needs to search based on their criteria for a new green home, Godino said.
The goal is to someday facilitate public searches of the MLS for green attributes, she said. However, the number of data fields their software now allows for Realtor searches is limited, and the data fields for public searches are even more limited.
Godino was busy Thursday afternoon updating the listing for one half of a duplex on Val d'Isere Circle, where the owners used low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint and carpet.
"This gives the sellers a chance to put their product out there" and gain acknowledgement for their investment in making their homes greener, Godino said.
Ashby predicted that it could take time for the EE symbol to become commonplace on MLS sheets because Realtors will have to work through their listings and update them with the sustainable qualities of the properties. In addition, the pace of construction here has slowed dramatically, and the number of new homes being built to sustainable standards is reduced as a consequence.
Carl Dunham, Routt County Regional Building Department official, confirmed last week that through the first six months of the year, just four new single-family homes have been permitted in the city of Steamboat Springs, with 11 more in the county (excluding Hayden). The aggregate dollar valuation of the 15 homes of just more than $12 million is on par with what the region experienced in the mid- to late 1990s, he said.
Godino said it's likely that the roster of energy-efficient criteria acknowledged in the MLS will evolve as building practices change.
— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org