The Multiple Listing Services (MLS) is an important tool for the real-estate industry in the marketing and selling of homes. If a feature does not appear in the MLS it is pretty much hidden from the real-estate market. The Gainesville, Fla., MLS now includes a listing for a home's HERS Index Score prominently in its report.
The Gainesville newspaper, the Gainesville Sun on May 30, 2012, published a front-page story "More Homebuyers Willing to Pay for Green Features." The article reports: "Real estate professionals say their experience anecdotally is that green- and budget-conscious buyers are willing to pay more for a house with energy-efficient features. But determining what those features are worth to a home's value has proven difficult for appraisers armed with limited data on the sales of green homes."
The paper reports the Gainesville MLS now gives "more ammunition to the push to add energy-efficient amenities to the value of homes." It quotes Dave Gibbs of Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish Realtors as saying the HERS Index information in the MLS will "help Realtors more easily find homes with the green features that buyers are interested in and help appraisers compare sales data."
This action should serve as a model to other MLS listing services to start including easily understood information about the energy performance of a home. It also demonstrates the market penetration of homes with a HERS Index is allowing this to be in the mainstream of the housing market.