Pearl Certification, the City of Phoenix, APS, RESNET and HomeSmart announced today they are working together on a major new initiative to help Phoenix homeowners make their homes more energy efficient, save on their utility bills, aid the environment – and capture the value from them when they sell.
“While homeowners continue to make efficiency improvements in their homes, it can be difficult for buyers to differentiate between efficient and inefficient homes on the market,” said Matt Widdows, CEO and founder of HomeSmart. “As a result, buyers who want efficient homes can’t find them and sellers with efficient homes don’t get a fair price for the energy investments they’ve made.”
The new partnership plans to change this. At the start, agents from HomeSmart, the nation’s fifth-largest residential real estate brokerage, will help homeowners certify Phoenix homes with energy efficient and renewable energy features through Pearl Certification, a national firm with a certification system that helps homeowners make their homes more efficient and showcase these improvements when the home is sold.
“Before a home is sold, Pearl Certification sends an expert to the home to take an inventory of special features that make the home more comfortable, energy efficient, and improve indoor air quality,” said Pearl Certification CEO Cynthia Adams. “This information is presented in an easy-to-read report that provides the necessary documentation to help sellers get fair market value for these high performing features.”
A 2017 report by an independent team of nationally recognized appraisers found that Pearl Certified homes in Virginia sold for prices that were on average 5 percent more than the prices of comparable, non-certified homes.
“The Phoenix market already has tens of thousands of high-performing homes – homes that were built to standards like ENERGY STAR,” said Robin LeBaron, Pearl President and COO. “The problem is that buyers don’t know this when they look at the home. We want to commission a study to see whether these homes sell for higher prices when buyers have information about them in a Pearl Certification report.”
RESNET, a non-profit firm that specializes in rating new-built ENERGY STAR and other homes, already has over 43,000 high-performing homes in its database. These homes will receive a Pearl Certification and home sellers can opt in to the study.
“We see this study as an important step towards helping the public understand the value of high-performing homes,” said Steve Baden, RESNET’s Executive Director.
Plans for the Phoenix study caught the attention of the City of Phoenix and APS based on its alignment to energy efficiency programs and sustainability goals cited by both entities.
“We’re excited to support this initiative,” said Chris Baker, Program Manager, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, APS. “We know that energy efficient homes are healthier, more comfortable, and cost less to own and operate. Studies from across the nation suggest these homes sell for more as a result. The new study of Pearl Certified homes will tell us exactly how much more these homes are worth in Phoenix.”
The study and broader partnership also ties into sustainability goals for the City of Phoenix.
“The City of Phoenix has one of the most ambitious carbon reduction goals of any city in the U.S., and we are committed to helping our citizens improve their homes and get full value for their improvements,” said Karen Peters, Deputy City Manager of the City of Phoenix. “We enthusiastically support this initiative because we believe it will play an important role in making the city’s homes much more efficient and improve the quality of life for families.”
The appraisal study will certify up to 100 pre-market or active home listings in the City of Phoenix that fall within the service area of APS at no cost to the homeowner. Documentation will be provided by Pearl Certification for use in the sale of the home. Sale data will be evaluated by third-party appraisal experts to determine how the certified features impacted the sale price.
For more information on the study, or to participate, visit https://pearlcertification.com/phoenix-study/.