Misleading Realtors advertising homes as energy saving with no documentation!

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As the first builder and only builder building qualified green homes in Thomasville and the South Georgia area, we are seeing more and more homes being misrepresented by Realtors probably due to the down real estate market and the features being misused are the green features or energy efficiency when in fact its listing agent does not know anything about this market because they do not have the proper training.  We can say that we have listed our Energy Star Qualified home with most of the brokerage offices in Thomasville and our listing agents could not explain our custom features or our homes green features to buyers.  What makes it even worse is that they were not even interested in learning about the listing they had just acquired even after explaining that this was a new emerging trend and even listed all the features on paper. Not sure if they were just oblivious about the whole issue that was just barely emerging in the real estate industry or just plain languid.

At the beginning of our green home construction, the few Realtors that did show our Energy Star Qualified home were just showing it as a standard home and per square footage price. We would have to make ourselves available to explain our custom green features because they would tell us they did not know how to explain our features. But now, Realtors jump at the chance to misrepresent their listings just to get a piece of this market without even getting the proper training. We would like to point out that the new MLS at some level has a green initiative and has clickable module that lists certain green features and it looks like Realtors are abusing this green feature of our MLS to falsely promote their listings as being green or energy efficient ignoring the legal implications it may have on them and their brokerage office. Mind you our industry has MLS regulations that unfortunately the designated committee turns a blind eye and are very relaxed in its enforcement. The common examples are as follows stating that the listing has thermal doors. Does the listing agent even know how to determine if it is a thermal door? Most Realtors do not know, so it is up to the consumer to research these green features to verify that in fact they are buying these features. Another common misrepresentation is extra insulation, well if the extra insulation is not installed correctly and does not reach the correct R-value this does not have much of an effect to even call it a green feature. It comes to a point when too much insulation has NO effect at all in saving energy and nevertheless calling it an energy efficient property when it has not been verified in its before and after improvements.  When Realtors make these false claims on their listings, they should be able to provide documentation from its manufacturer with proof of its energy efficiency as well as for the extra insulation. An agent that has the green home feature training would be able to point out if these features are misrepresented. Realtors should be better trained in this area because it helps them understand the difference in building a minimum code home to building a home to a green qualified designation. As a consumer and a 100% committed to green building, I encourage home buyers to perform a thorough research of the home they are buying because buying a home is a high price ticket item that they will be living with for the rest of their ownership.

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