Do 'Accredited Greenagents' Add Value for Consumers?
Q- One of our local real estate agents is promoting herself as an 'Accredited Greenagent'. How does that help me?
A - Frankly, sometimes I have difficulty understanding the relevance of some of the courses that are presented to real estate agents and this is one of them. There are all kinds of designations available to agents and they are all at a substantial cost. It is one thing to pay for the courses but many of these groups also charge an annual renewal fee to continue using the designation.
This is what is involved. To become an "Accredited Greenagent', four online courses are offered: Introduction to Greenrealestate, Home Energy Efficiency, Home Hydro Usage and Green Heating and Cooling. The regular price is $425 but a 44% reduction is offered to the first 25 registrants. However, an additional $125 is required as a one-time fee to be submitted with the application. It doesn't stop there. If the agent becomes an 'Accredited Greenagent', then the membership must be renewed annually at a cost of $ 60 and the agent must also complete a minimum of one course annually. These courses range from $ 60 to $ 120. These are substantial outlays and, in my opinion, not warranted.
Now for the important part - how does it help you? Up until recently 'global warming' was a hot topic and this propelled environmental initiatives to protect our planet. For the most part that is a good thing even though more current information suggests that 'global warming' may not be the phenomena it was touted to be. Nevertheless, more focus has been placed on the use of natural resources - more efficient use of our electrical power, water conservation, gas emissions, recycling and more. To that end, corporations have made available all kinds of literature about their energy efficient products. Similarly, builders who incorporate 'green' elements within their construction and design also provide ample information to justify their higher prices. The local electrical company also has literature available.
For the most part, people respect the idea of protecting the environment and participate in recycling and purchasing energy efficient appliances. If consumers are interested in a 'greener' lifestyle, they already have ample information available and are educated in 'green'. In either case, the agent doesn't make any valuable contribution to the situation. The information is available to interested parties!
The bottom line, in my opinion, is that an 'Accredited Greenagent' would not be of great help to you. I would suggest that there are many more important traits and skills that you should evaluate before engaging a real estate agent and being 'green' is not one of them.