The number of residential houses with solar panels in the United States has increased dramatically over the last ten years. More than 2.7 million houses are estimated to have a solar panel system in place. Although installing a solar panel in your home may seem like a great idea, it may make the selling process a bit difficult.
The main difficulty is that you may encounter home buyers who don’t want to take over a property with solar panels. But that doesn’t mean selling a house with solar panels is impossible.
You can get a higher price for your home because you installed solar panels. For instance, show potential home buyers that they might save more on electric bills by purchasing a home with solar panels. Here is everything you need to know about selling a house with solar panels.
Selling Your House With Solar Panels
The demand for houses with solar panels or some form of clean energy has risen steadily over the years. Homeowners who want to sell a property with solar panels often have to deal with how to transfer the ownership or the solar lease of the panels. The first thing you need to do before selling a house with solar panels is to talk with the solar company or solar installer.
Exploring how to sell a house with solar panels requires that you consider two factors:
- Full ownership of the panels
- The lease agreement for the solar panels
Full Ownership of the Panels
Full ownership of the panels allows you to simply add the cost of the panels to the asking price of the property. You need to communicate with potential buyers about the warranty of the solar panels.
Solar Leases and Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)
The upfront cost of buying and installing a solar system on a residential home is quite high. Many homeowners often enter into lease agreements with a solar company. In such a scenario, a homeowner doesn’t own the power generated by the solar panel. Instead, the leasing company agrees to sell electricity to the homeowner at an agreed-upon fee.
Power Purchase Agreements have become very common, but they are also what makes selling a house with solar panels a bit complicated. For instance, many homeowners under a PPA don’t own solar panel equipment. This means you can’t increase the asking price due to solar panels in the home.
Additionally, a PPA needs to get transferred when the house changes ownership. Otherwise, the leasing company will continue charging you lease payments for the electricity generated by their equipment. As a home seller, you have to convince potential buyers to take over the existing contract with the solar company.
Another option is to buy out the lease and raise the property value. Owning the solar panel system is a great option because many mortgage lenders make it a requirement before giving potential buyers a loan. You should also talk with realtors and your solar installer if you have trouble selling a house with solar panels.
Do Solar Panels Add Value to a Home
Yes, solar panels increase the value of a home. Homeowners can increase the asking price of their houses if they have installed solar panels. In addition, potential buyers will not hesitate to spend more on a house with solar panels if it means clean energy and lower energy bills.
Houses with solar panels are more energy efficient and help reduce one’s carbon footprint. A new homeowner can also take advantage of the opportunity of income generation that comes with a solar panel system through net metering. Solar panels can generate more electricity, which new owners can sell back to the grid.
Another selling point associated with houses that have solar panels is that they have increased demand. Prospective buyers will feel comfortable paying a higher price for houses they know will have an even higher resale value.
Tax incentives, such as the tax credit have increased the home sales of properties with solar panels. Homeowners or new buyers can also upgrade the existing solar panel system to drive up the property’s value when they want to sell.
5 Benefits of Adding Solar Panels to Your Home
Increasing the property value of your house is not the only advantage of installing solar panels in your home. Here are five other benefits:
Solar panels can help you cut down on your expenditure on monthly utility bills. The cost of having solar panels is much lower than the utility bills you would incur from using power provided by the grid.
The long-term savings you can make by reducing utility bills will increase your financial wealth. Thus, you can redirect some of that money to other investments.
Relying on power generated from your solar panels frees you from depending on the state or federal grid. You can enjoy consistent, continuous power even when outages affect your neighborhood. Solar power is reliable throughout the year since it only requires a few hours of sunlight to generate electricity.
Numerous incentives and tax credits are now available for homeowners installing solar panels on their property. State and federal tax incentives have made the cost of acquiring and installing solar panels very affordable.
Additionally, net metering can help you generate an income by selling power back to the grid.
Solar panels generate clean energy with no adverse impact on the environment. Reducing your carbon footprint is a key advantage that benefits your family and community. Renewable energy sources such as the sun are very sustainable, and there is no risk of them running out or becoming scarce with time.
Higher Return on Investment
Adding solar panels to your home or buying a house with an installed solar system may seem like a poor investment. But solar panels have a guaranteed return on investment when you add them to your home as they automatically increase the property’s resale value.
The cost of maintaining solar panels is quite low over an entire lifespan. You can also make upgrades if you are living in a neighborhood with comparable home solar panel systems to attract buyers, making selling your house quickly easy.
Other Pros and Cons of Selling a House with Solar Panels
Despite the increased property value of houses with solar panels, there are still some drawbacks you may encounter when selling. Here are a few pros and cons of selling a house with solar panels:
- Higher likelihood of finding a buyer due to the increased demand for solar-powered houses
- Available incentives that may get transferred to new buyers
- Higher resale value, which attracts more buyers making the selling process easier
- The energy savings of a house with solar panels make it very attractive to millennials and the younger demographic of home buyers
- Incompatibility with the needs of the potential buyer
- The increased property value may keep prospective buyers away
- It can be difficult to transfer the lease agreements or buy out the leased solar panels
Can You Sell a House With Solar Panels
Yes, you can sell a house with solar panels. There are different methods you can use to sell a house with solar panels:
- Enter into an agreement with a realtor
- Work with online estate agents or home buyer’s agent
- Sell your house without a realtor through a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) arrangement
How to Sell Your House With Solar Panels
After deciding what method you want to use to sell your house, you need to consider how exactly you will sell a house with solar panels. The main methods commonly used to change the ownership status of house’ solar panels are:
- Lease transfer
- Complete transfer of ownership
- Separate sale of the solar panels
- Buyout of the lease
The sale of a house with solar panels is not that different from any other property. The only challenge is the ownership or lease status of the solar panel system. You need to talk to the leasing company or the solar installer to understand how to conduct a smooth sale.
Additionally, talk to realtors and other professionals in the real estate market to get more information about selling a house with solar panels. Once you have enough information, the process you can follow to sell your house may involve the steps below:
- Contact the solar company and inform them you want to sell the house
- Talk to your realtors about selling the house
- Make sure the property listing for the house includes details about the solar panels
- Talk to potential buyers and help them learn the benefits of solar energy
- Finalize the sale once you find a qualified buyer and transfer ownership of the solar panels
Sell a House With Solar Panels Today
Selling a house with solar panels is similar to any other residential property sale with the inclusion of a few steps and considerations. You need to understand the lease or ownership status of the solar panels before you can make a successful sale.
Let prospective buyers know your house has a solar panel and walk them through all the benefits they should expect to enjoy once they own the property. Talk to your realtor and your solar company to better understand how to navigate selling a house with solar panels.