an eco energy monitor sitting on a grey granite countertop of a modern bright energy efficient house with the nar green designation logo at the top right

*The Green logo is courtesy of NAR and its Green Designation program.

Green construction and home improvements are becoming increasingly popular for many reasons. Realtors often find themselves keeping up with the ever-changing market, and the shift to green energy is no exception. The realtor Green Designation is designed to help realtors open their horizons to this new market. What do you need to know?

The realtor GREEN Designation certifies realtors to improve their chances of selling homes with renewable energy, eco-friendly insulation, and other green properties. Applicants must complete courses to earn their certification. Members typically sell more eco-friendly homes for greater profits.

Throughout this post, you’ll learn everything you need about the GREEN Designation and why it’s essential for the modern housing marketplace.

What Is the Realtor GREEN Designation?

The realtor GREEN Designation is a program that provides realtors with a certification that shows their knowledge and competency of green building materials, net-zero living, and similar eco-conscious property renovations.

A certified realtor can sell an old home upgraded to green standards or a new one with these requirements.

Here’s what you should know about the realtor GREEN Designation:

  • Members get their certification through a short, all-inclusive course.
  • NAR claims its members get a 10 percent discount on online courses.
  • It explains everything regarding energy efficiency and green living updates.
  • It’s not required to sell homes with green renovations. Still, it greatly increases your knowledge, credibility, and network in the industry.

Suppose you’re interested in the designation process. You’ll need to be a licensed realtor and choose between online and in-person classes.

The certification process provides a lot of clout in the industry, so there are many standards and tests you need to complete.

Read on to learn whether or not it’s right for you.

Who Should Try the Realtor GREEN Designation?

Any realtor who desires to learn more about energy efficiency, reduced carbon emissions, and eco-friendly insulation should try to earn their GREEN Designation.

The designation provides all the education material required for the new housing market and informs realtors of HVAC systems, heat pump water heaters and other upgrades for their clients.

a blue tesla model 3 on the left with a rheem hybrid heat pump water heater on the right in a garage
We installed a heat pump water heater in our second netzero home renovation project and saved $400+ per year!

So, what benefits can realtors expect from the GREEN Designation?

  • A growing community of certified members can help you with any questions about green living. Everyone who gets the certification has multiple online means of social interaction that allow them to stay connected and updated. You’ll also know about law changes, rebates, and more.
  • You’ll receive a green certificate that proves your knowledge of modern energy-efficient living standards. In addition, the National Association of Realtors explains that you’ll receive a physical certificate, online borders for your social media pictures, and badges for your websites.
  • Every member gets an updated newsletter about the growing green market. While the green certification process lets you know the current green building details, those details change often. You’ll learn everything you need to know with a regular newsletter from your membership.
  • You’ll have a much higher chance of profiting from your sales for multiple reasons. Houses with better insulation, triple-pane windows, solar power, and reduced energy consumption often sell at a much greater price. So you’ll profit more, while your clients will make more money, too.
  • There’s a green directory that helps you connect with buyers and sellers. These clients want energy-efficient properties, so you don’t have to worry about whether they prefer renewable energy and other benefits of green living. The searchable program lets you look through various states, counties, and cities.

That being said, there are a few hoops you need to jump through before getting your certification. Read on for more details about the cons of the GREEN Designation program for realtors.

Potential Downsides and Disadvantages

  • You’ll have to attend a two-day (or longer) course to learn about green building procedures.
  • These courses aren’t free (they vary based on whether you prefer in-person or online classes, and there’s also a $98.50 annual membership fee).
  • Some states don’t have many green living opportunities, which could reduce the usefulness of a green certification (this can change as markets improve).

How To Become Eligible for the Realtor GREEN Designation

To become eligible for the GREEN Designation, follow these steps:

  1. Become a member of the National Association of Realtors. Even without a green certification, NAR membership can enjoy various benefits. It’s one of the best programs for realtors who want to stay updated with the latest policies and realty information.
  2. Complete the GREEN Designation Course via a two-day in-person class or a couple of online sessions. Most in-person classes are in big cities, so online sessions might be better. We suggest taking notes since you’ll have to pass several tests.
  3. Pass all the provided exams to show your understanding of the course material. The exams contain information from the classes you attended, so it should all be fresh in your mind. Passing the tests shows you retained the information required to receive your certificate.
  4. Maintain your annual membership if you want to keep your green certification. The first year is covered, but the remaining years carry a fee. Failure to pay the fee will revoke your membership. The cost is currently $98.50, but it’s subject to change. However, it’s well worth it for the previously mentioned benefits.

What Does the Joining Process Entail?

Suppose you want to become a member with a GREEN Designation certificate. In that case, you’ll learn a lot about numerous eco-friendly energy-efficiency programs, suggestions, rules, rebates, and more.

The coursework includes the following information:

  • Energy Star certification requirements and recommendations. You’ll learn about which types of systems are required for green living, net-zero living, and more.
  • Indoor Air Plus certifications by EPA. This part of the program explains a lot about mechanical ventilation and numerous ways to improve a home’s air quality. It’s an essential component of green construction projects.
  • Details about the US Department of Energy’s Zero Home Ready certification. Zero Home Ready certification dives into the details of net-zero construction by reducing a building’s carbon emissions and energy usage.
  •  Renewable energy details. This includes geothermal energy, solar power, and more. Solar power is one of the most highlighted parts of the course since it’s the most readily available and affordable form of renewable energy for residential and commercial properties.
  • Green home requirements. Numerous components combine to make a building green. This part of the process incorporates all the details above from top to bottom to inform you more about eco-conscious energy production, insulation, etc.

Review this video by the National Association of Realtors about what you’ll learn in the program:

How Does the Realtor GREEN Designation Affect Home Values?

For many reasons, the GREEN Designation for realtors nearly always improves appraisal rates and home values.

Green buildings naturally save money by requiring less energy and maintenance. They also use reliable construction materials and high-quality insulation to demand heating and cooling less often.

Not only does home value increase with energy efficiency, but it also becomes much easier to sell. The same can go for homes with solar energy as well.

Attainable Home First Net Zero Home Renovation Project with Tesla Model 3 and Solar Energy
Our first netzero home renovation has a 9.4KW system installed, saving over $2,000 per year in energy costs. It depends on the buyer, but this can be very valuable to some buyers. Especially those with an electric car to power also.

Freddie Mac claims that over 70 percent of buyers prefer the materials and practices used in green building projects. These materials range from triple-pane windows to energy-efficient lighting and more.

Here are numerous reasons a GREEN-designated realtor can improve a home’s value below.

  • People are more willing to buy homes that save money by reducing their energy bills.
  • Anyone looking to reduce their carbon footprint will prefer a green-certified home.
  • Green homes are almost always warmer in the winter and colder in the summer, making them more desirable.
  • They often included modern appliances.

Whether you’re looking to sell houses quicker or at a higher profit, the GREEN Designation for realtors is more than worth the classes, tests, and annual membership fees. You’ll receive a lot of assistance along the way, too.

Final Thoughts

The pros of the GREEN Designation for realtors far outweigh the cons. You’ll greatly increase your knowledge of reduced-carbon homes, sales opportunities, and more.

Having a certification also shows that you’re willing to do what it takes to educate yourself and help your clients sell their houses or get the property they’re looking for!


NAR: NAR’s Green Designation Course Discounts |  Freddie Mac: Do Energy-Efficient Improvements Increase Resale Value? | YouTube: NAR GREEN Designation: What You’ll Learn | Green Realtor: How to Earn the Designation

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