Slapping the label “eco-friendly” onto products has been no more than just marketing buzzword in a lot of industries. The real estate market is no exception. It’s even more harmful because what you invested in real estate is not small amount; it could be a life investment.

The investment of green buildings also has a great impact on the environment in a long period of time. It’s detrimental.

Greenwashing is a false claim, but it’s often not an outright lie. The claims of buildings or homes being environmentally friendly is sometimes not backed by sufficient evidence.

In the MLS, there are a lot of homes that are simply marketed as “green”, while in reality, builders are merely doing the standard procedure that meets the minimum requirement.

For example, the insulation of a house is simply a standard one, but it does not exceed even the minimum standard of the local code requirement.

What is greenwashing in real estate?

Greenwashing is extremely harmful and no more than just a ploy to gain more profit. It does not have anything to do with the builders nor the marketers caring about the environment. Greenwashing is harmful to both the environment as well as to potential buyers.

Every year, people are “tricked” into believing that they invested a premium into the environment. This is largely because of the lack of knowledge about what being “green” actually constitutes of. Therefore it’s easy to have people buy into the whole green labelling. That is only that, mere labels.

There are a lot of homes in the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) that are marketed as “green” simply to generate more offers or purely out of ignorance on the marketer’s part.

Often times, what they did for homes marketed as “green” is extremely trivial. It often does not have anything to do with the building or the features of the building itself.

For example, marketers put on the green label simply because they put in LED lights and having Energy Star-labeled appliances. This can be very misleading for uneducated potential homebuyers.

While these features are good, they do not constitute of what a green building essentially is.

Almost everything now has the Energy Star label, so it’s extremely common place for more efficient energy appliances to have place in homes these days. And it does not have anything to do with a building being “green”.

There is a whole lot of the building design process that goes into the building that is environmentally friendly, and energy efficient lightbulbs or kitchen appliances are not going to change that.

Buyers are attracted to labels such as “energy efficient home”, “environmentally friendly”, “eco-friendly”, you name it. Greenwashing at its core, is a way to generate more money.

It does not have anything to do with companies and marketers caring for the environment. Greenwashing distracts customers from the essence of the issue by featuring the issues that has very little impact on the effort of minimising the damage to the environment.

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