Selling Your House With Solar: What You Need to Know

Solar panels make a difference when the time comes to sell a house. Many home buyers like to see solar panels on homes because they're interested in saving money on their utilities and they're also concerned about the environment. Know the value of your solar panels and what you can do to make your solar panels more marketable to help you sell your home. 

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Do Solar Panels Increase Your Property's Value?

Solar panels are understood to increase property value by quite a bit. The amount and ways in which solar panels increase your home's value depends on whether the panels are owned outright or leased, what state the house is located in, and how powerful the solar panels are.

For homeowners who own their solar panels, the average increase can vary between $15,000 and about $30,000, depending on the size of the system. 

For homeowners who have leased their solar panels, the exact amount of the increase is unclear. Many potential homebuyers are put off by the prospect of buying a home that has a leased solar system on it. You may be able to get a better estimate from your real estate professional, who can evaluate factors like how long you have left on your lease and how much you pay per month. 

Do Solar Panels Make the Home Easier to Sell?

Typically solar panels can make a home more marketable and attractive to buyers. In fact, homes with solar panels can sell up to 20% faster than homes without. The condition and age of the panels will affect how marketable the home is, as well as the reputation of the company who installed it.  

Can You Sell If You Borrowed Money to Buy the Panels?

If the solar panels were acquired with a loan, you may be required to pay off the loan when the house sells. Factor in your solar loan balance when deciding which offer to accept. The offer must be large enough that it will allow you to pay off your current mortgage and the balance due on your solar loan, unless you have the money to pay for your solar loan outright.

Since solar panels are known to increase the value of your home, it will hopefully be easy to find a high enough offer.  

How Should You Market a Home with Solar Panels?

Since solar panels are so desirable, highlighting the home's solar panels in the listing can help attract buyers. Work with your real estate professional to write a listing that discusses the solar panels, their age (if they are new), how much power they generate, and how much savings this equates to.

Your real estate professional can help you with the language, but you'll need to supply your agent the information.

Take good pictures of the solar panels. The best way to get good pictures of your home's solar panels is to contact a real estate photographer. A good real estate photographer will be able to capture images of your solar panels in a way that looks flattering and attractive. Your real estate agent can help you find a good photographer in your area.

If you're not able to hire a real estate photographer, take the pictures yourself. Include the entire house, so the buyers can see the way that the solar panels and the home's siding look together. Do not take shots with sunlight glaring off the panels. 

Finally, make a book of information about your home, and include information about the solar panels. In the binder, tell the buyer whether the panels are owned outright or leased, how old they are, how much energy they produce, how much maintenance they require, and other details.

Leave this binder of information on your kitchen table or in a central location during home showings. This will give buyers more information about the home and can help them make an informed decision before they make an offer. 

What If Your Solar Panels Are in Need of Repair?

Poor home maintenance can dramatically reduce a home's value. If your home's solar panels are in disrepair and need to be fixed, this will have to be disclosed on any home purchase offers. Home buyers who see that a major system in your house needs to be repaired could dramatically reduce their offer. Sometimes home buyers will reduce their offer by even more than the cost of making the repair. 

You can avoid this by making repairs before placing your home on the market. Talk to your real estate agent, if you're thinking about listing the home as-is. Your real estate agent can help you explore options. Contact a solar panel company to get an estimate for the repairs. The repairs may cost less than you imagine.

For more information about selling your home when you have solar panels, contact Solar Source. We're happy to answer your questions about selling your home with solar panels.