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Analysis Indicates Chicago Homes that Disclose Energy Costs Have a Higher Close Rate

Energy cost disclosure gains momentum as more real estate offices recognize the value of energy use data for all involved in the real estate transaction. A new disclosure tool has helped all Baird & Warner city offices and Chicago-based Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage offices secure their place as leaders in using this latest technology.

LISLE, ILLINOIS (April 20, 2015) – Chicago single family real estate listings that disclose energy costs have a higher close rate and spend less time on the market than comparable homes that do not disclose this information, according to an analysis by Elevate Energy.

Elevate Energy’s findings indicate that homes that disclosed energy costs at the time of listing sold at a higher percentage of the asking price. On average, an attached home (e.g., condominium or townhome) that was listed for $352,000 would have sold for $4,576 more if the listing had disclosed the home’s energy costs. In addition, attached homes that disclosed energy costs spent about 25 fewer days on the market compared to homes that did not disclose energy costs. Detached homes that disclosed energy costs spent eight fewer days on the market.

“Elevate Energy has done an outstanding job of taking a cumbersome task – locating accurate information about a home’s energy usage – and simplifying it to create a wonderful experience for our broker associates and their clients,” said Tripti Kasal, vice president of sales for Baird & Warner, one of the first real estate brokerages to institutionalize electronic disclosure. “Baird & Warner is committed to providing the most innovative tools to better facilitate our transactions – a partnership with Elevate Energy was the right thing for us.”

In 2013, the City of Chicago became the first municipality in the country to allow direct disclosure of residential energy costs (gas and electric) via a multiple listing service (MLS) when a single family or two- to four-unit home was listed for sale. The achievement was the result of a unique partnership between Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), the City of Chicago Office of the Mayor, and Elevate Energy. In addition, an “Energy eCompliance” tool was launched to help listing agents in Chicago provide buyer agents and home purchasers with immediate online access to an energy cost disclosure (ECD) report for a property. Using the tool also helps agents comply with the specific time requirements of the updated energy cost disclosure ordinance.

The analysis from Elevate Energy bolsters earlier indications that energy cost disclosure is meaningful and beneficial. In addition to higher close rates and quicker sales, disclosure facilitates more informed decisions for all involved in the real estate transaction and helps demonstrate the value of energy efficiency in the marketplace.

“Energy costs are such a significant issue to home buyers it is a no-brainer for MRED to assist its real estate professionals in providing the most accurate and timely information,” said MRED President/Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Jensen. “At the same time, we are enabling our listing brokers to comply with the City of Chicago ordinance. A win for everybody, especially the consumer, and we are pleased to be a nationwide leader in this arena.”

Energy cost disclosure is gaining momentum in Chicago as an increasing number of brokerages utilize the Energy eCompliance tool and comply with the ordinance. MRED, the City of Chicago, and Elevate Energy have launched an ongoing Chicago Energy eCompliance Brokerage Challenge to help real estate offices secure their place as leaders in using this latest technology.

More than 20 offices have participated in the challenge so far, including all Baird & Warner city offices, Chicago-based Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage offices, the MG Group at BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group, Century 21 Affiliated Hyde Park, and The Gramata Realty Group with @properties. A complete listing of all participating offices is available on the Elevate Energy website.

All Chicagoland real estate offices, agents, and sales teams are encouraged to participate in the Chicago Energy eCompliance Brokerage Challenge by completing a checklist:

  • Commitment to use digital energy cost disclosure fields offered by MRED on all eligible Chicago property listings.
  • Office staff member oversees training activities on the Energy eCompliance tool.
  • Using energy cost disclosure fields provided by MRED becomes part of the brokerage’s listing process. A “how to” primer for real estate professionals is available.

To participate, brokerages should complete the three tasks and return a completed form to pamela.brookstein@elevateenergy.org.

About Elevate Energy

Elevate Energy’s mission is to deliver smarter energy use for all. Elevate designs and implements efficiency programs that lower costs, protect the environment, and ensure the benefits of energy efficiency reach those who need them most. For more information, please visit http://www.elevateenergy.org.

About MRED

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the real estate data aggregator and distributor providing the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS) to nearly 40,000 brokers and appraisers and 8,000 offices. MRED serves Chicago and the surrounding “collar” counties and provides property information encompassing northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana. MRED delivers over twenty products and services to its customers, complementing connectMLS™, the top-rated MLS system in the country for two years running according to the WAV Group MLS Technology Survey. MRED is the 2013 Inman News Most Innovative MLS/Real Estate Trade Association, and for four consecutive years the MRED Help Desk has been identified as one of the best small business centers in the United States and Canada by BenchmarkPortal. For more information please visit MREDLLC.com.

Chicago Real Estate Offices Compete in Energy Cost Disclosure Brokerage Challenge

LISLE, ILLINOIS (March 9, 2015) – The City of Chicago and Elevate Energy are partnering with Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), to offer the first-ever Chicago Energy eCompliance Brokerage Challenge. The Challenge will recognize brokerages in Chicago that adopt MRED’s Energy Cost Disclosure (ECD) tool and automate their listing process by preparing an energy cost disclosure report online, with up-to-the-moment data. As part of the Challenge, brokerages that complete a checklist will be publically recognized in an Earth Day press release.

In 2013, the City of Chicago became the first municipality in the United States to disclose residential energy costs (gas and electric) directly to an MLS when a single family or 2-4 unit home was listed for sale. Listing agents in Chicago can now provide buyer agents and home purchasers online access to an energy cost disclosure (ECD) report for a property which fulfills the requirement of a City of Chicago ordinance – without printing a single sheet of paper.

The Chicago Energy eCompliance Brokerage Challenge is an engaging and easy way for brokerages to institutionalize usage of the ECD tool, complying with the ordinance and securing their place as leaders in using this latest technology. A preliminary analysis also shows that Chicago single family real estate listings that disclosed energy costs spent less time on the market and had a higher closing rate.

The Chicago Energy eCompliance Brokerage Challenge asks brokerages to complete a checklist of three tasks:

  • Management commitment to require ECD usage by their brokers on Chicago property listings.
  • Office staff member oversees training activities on the ECD tool.
  • Using ECD fields provided by MRED becomes part of the brokerage’s listing process.

To participate, brokerages should complete the three above tasks and return a completed form to pamela.brookstein@elevateenergy.org by March 23, 2015 to ensure recognition. All brokerages that do so will be included in an Earth Day announcement on April 22, 2015. Join early adopters of the challenge, like Baird & Warner, as well as the Century 21 Affiliated office in Hyde Park.

The Energy Cost Disclosure tool is a private, secure system in partnership with ComEd and People’s Gas, delivering instant, paperless energy usage data through connectMLS, on any device. The tool removes the need to fax or wait for data for home listings, utilizing an easy and convenient capability in the “Utilities & Energy Efficient Features” section of the MLS.

At the time this press release was issued, the Chicago Energy eCompliance Brokerage Challenge was sent to nearly 5,000 individuals, including owners and managers of the Chicago Association of Realtors offices, the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors, North Shore – Barrington Association of Realtors, and Oak Park Area Association of Realtors. All brokerages that have listings in Chicago are encouraged to participate.

About Elevate Energy

Elevate Energy’s mission is to deliver smarter energy use for all. Elevate designs and implements efficiency programs that lower costs, protect the environment, and ensure the benefits of energy efficiency reach those who need them most. For more information, please visit http://www.elevateenergy.org.

About MRED

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the real estate data aggregator and distributor providing the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS) to nearly 40,000 brokers and appraisers and 8,000 offices. MRED serves Chicago and the surrounding “collar” counties and provides property information encompassing northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana. MRED delivers over twenty products and services to its customers, complementing connectMLS™, the top-rated MLS system in the country for two years running according to the WAV Group MLS Technology Survey. MRED is the 2013 Inman News Most Innovative MLS/Real Estate Trade Association, and for four consecutive years the MRED Help Desk has been identified as one of the best small business centers in the United States and Canada by BenchmarkPortal. For more information please visit MREDLLC.com.