Would you be more likely to hire an agent who is “Green Certified?”

Asked by Robert Pratt, Chicago, IL Mon Aug 17, 2009

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has a “Green” Designation to certify those agents who participate in the curriculum as “Green Certified.” These typically signify that your agent has gone through extra training sanctioned by NAR and has a somewhat more in depth knowledge of the related subject matter. Knowing that the green movement is the hot topic of the times, would you choose an agent that had this designation?

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Daniel Cullen’s answer
Daniel Cullen, Other Pro, Chicago, IL
Fri Oct 16, 2009
Absolutely....and I want the waitress at the coffee shop to be 'Green Certified' as well as my barber!

Are you kidding me? I've been listening to lies, half truths, exaggerations, embellishments, and a boatload of balderdash coming from the mouths of R. E. agents for 12 years.

Do I really want to listen to them bloviate about their idea of a green building?

No thanks.......find someone who actually knows something about construction and get your advice from someone a bit less likely to blow green smoke up your butt!

By the way....I do not mean to denigrate those fine upstanding agents with whom I have worked closely over the last dozen years; you all know who you are and that my rant does not apply to you.

2 votes
James Gordon…, Agent, Hamilton, OH
Fri Oct 16, 2009
Up to the point that you see their SUV. I have been green for a long time. I have been using compact floresent bulbs from before they had the sprials! Green is a life style not a designation!
1 vote
Seth Captain, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu Mar 22, 2012
I'm a buyer's agent who takes many of my clients to visit properties by bike, as it's probably the best way to feel out blocks within a city like Chicago, and listing agents are always commenting about "how green" we are, which has nothing (almost) to do with choosing to ride a bicycle.

You know who's not "green"? Anybody who uses it as part of their vocabulary, unless they are referring to paint colors, grass or leprechauns. This the last person who will know anything about being environmentally conscious.
0 votes
Marlene Bien…, Agent, Tallahassee, FL
Wed Mar 21, 2012
Green is used way to many times as a buzz word by Realtors that just want to be on the bandwagon but do not know what they are talking about. I see listings that claim they are energy efficient and I just laugh because the listing agents do not realize how ignorant they sound. A designation shows that the agent has acquired the training to identify what is and what is not green. If a Realtor happens to have the education & experience and other types of green certifications that demonstrate their knowledge on the issue than there shouldn't be a need for any extra designations their education background just speaks for itself.

Unfortunately, there are people that stay in the pass and do not think that there is a better way to building a home from the ground up with advance building techniques that provide its homeowners with energy savings that will be enjoyed for as long as they own that property and make that home a healthier, quieter and a more comfortable one from the old standard way of building. For those who think in the old ways better get with the program because this movement is not going away it is just getting stronger and stronger and you will be left behind and the ones that acquire that training for the future of high performance homes will be at the for front.

I for one enjoy a home that was built green from the ground up and Energy Star Qualified and I enjoy monthly savings in energy & water consumption and all the benefits attached to this qualification of the blue seal.
0 votes
Osh Nissan, Agent, Evanston, IL
Wed Mar 21, 2012
As a point of understanding, the green designation provides brokers/agents with a baseline understanding of homes with sustainable features. I don't think that it is a reason to hire an agent. I happen to have a masters degree in environmental science and am a LEED Green Associate (and a broker). I don't intend on seeking the NAR green certification. However it is highly likely that the combination of my book learnin' and my experience as a residential and commercial green builder would be helpful as I describe the attributes and benefits of a LEED-Certified green home. In fact, less than 1% of homes are LEED-Certified or even have substantial 'green' systems in place. That said, people don't hire me for my knowledge about green building. I do think that clients refer and return when you show them competence and care.
0 votes
Megan, Home Seller, Hinsdale, IL
Mon Oct 26, 2009
Is this for real? No! I want someone who has a proven track record. I think the "green" thing is just the buzz word of the latter half of the decade.
0 votes
Michael Ofsa…, Other Pro, Grayslake, IL
Sat Oct 24, 2009
It is more important to find someone to be in your corner to evaluate the houses. Agents get listing sheets that may or may not indicate "green" building techniques and unless they walked through the house and know what to look for they won't know what is "green" and what isn't. I offer Home Efficiency Check-Ups which evaluate the energy efficiency of a home. This takes into account the condition of the house, age and quality of the systems installed and an evaluation of energy bills. The info is compared to national averages for the area and recommendations are made for "green" improvements. I even go so far as to advise the Return On Investment of the improvements. This is usually done on properties that are owned and not part of a real estate transaction. During a home inspection, if a client has a "green" question, at least I can answer them intelligently.
However, lots of people don't even know they need a home inspection. So at face value a "Green Certification" may attract a certain populaiton of customer.
0 votes
Trudo Realty, Agent, Chicago, IL
Fri Oct 16, 2009
No. Knowledge isn't the same as practice, and there is no sense giving preferential treatment to someone who merely claims to be informed about environmental issues. I'm more likely to favor a paperless agent or the like; they'd do better driving me to showings in a hybrid than by taking an NAR course.
0 votes
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