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New study reveals that homeowners pay more for third party-verified, high-performing homes

Marketing a home with a Pearl Certification – which verifies high-performing, energy-efficient features – can earn a seller a 5% premium in price, according to a new study. The study, conducted by a team of real estate appraisers, examined 26 homes sold in the Charlottesville, Va., metropolitan area between 2019 and 2021 and found that homes that were advertised as Pearl Certified sold for a premium of 5.15% more than similar, non-certified homes.

Pearl is a national provider of third-party certification of high-performing homes, focused on capturing the value of high-performing features for resale and appraisal by taking an inventory of a home’s energy efficiency, health, comfort, and resilience, among other factors. Each home receives a Pearl Score on a proprietary 1,200-point scoring methodology, focusing on five categories: building shell, heating and cooling, baseload, home management, and renewable energy and energy storage. Based on a home’s verified Pearl score, a home can be certified as Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Asset.

“The study shows that homeowners want energy-efficient homes and will pay significantly more for them,” said Pearl Co-founder and President Robin LeBaron. “But the study also shows that a third-party certification provides the level of detail and transparency buyers need to identify and understand the value of an energy efficient home.”

The premium in prices (which ranged from 0% to as high as 16%) garnered by Pearl Certified homes in the study is even more impressive, considering the Charlottesville area has seen a double-digit increase in sales prices year to year. The median sales price in the area jumped 17.6% from June 2020 to June 2021.

“The study suggests that even in hot markets where homes are in high demand, listing agents who understand how to demonstrate the value of energy-efficient investments fetch higher prices for their clients,” said Pearl’s CEO and Co-founder Cynthia Adams.

“The study confirms that agents are reaping the benefits of properly marketing Pearl Certified homes; they can clearly see the value of including Pearl Certification in their listings,” said Joseph Gentile, Pearl’s VP of Real Estate.

Pearl works with a network of contractors that improve a home’s performance and real estate professionals that ensure these homes, which include single-family homes, duplexes, and townhomes, are properly marketed and valued when sold. The company provides agents with a marketing package that includes materials to help differentiate high-performing homes. Homeowners can also seek certification through Pearl’s Green Door app, a free online service where homeowners can document energy-efficient and high-performing home improvements, such as solar panels and smart home thermostats.

About Pearl Certification
Pearl Certification provides national third-party certification of high-performing homes in effort to bring visibility to the valuable features that make them healthy, safe, comfortable, and energy- and water-efficient. Through its partnership with the National Association of REALTORS® Green REsource Council, Pearl Certification enables Green Designees, real estate professionals specializing in sustainable real estate, to certify homes – highlighting their energy-efficient features, differentiating their listings, and improving sales prices. Pearl has certified over 69,000 homes in 40 states and Washington, D.C. 

Media Contact
Lu Stasko
The Stasko Agency
[email protected]


Charlottesville Appraisal Study Infographic W

Pearl Certification is transforming the housing market. We’re making a visible difference nationwide for homeowners and the businesses that serve them.