Your Guide to Selling a House With Solar Panels Attached

In 2023-24, the SEIA estimates a leap to 4.7 million solar energy systems in the U.S. A striking 262% increase from 1.3 million in 2016. The interest in solar panels has ignited a new dimension in the real estate market, especially when selling a house with solar panels.

Whether it’s a solar lease or owned solar panels, homeowners are navigating this booming trend. 

This blog unravels the layers of solar system integration in home sales, emphasizing how to leverage this asset to attract prospective buyers and enhance property value. You’ll discover the vital role of a solar company in your selling process and how solar panel ownership can turn into a compelling selling point.

Selling Your House With Solar Panels

When you decide to sell your home equipped with a solar energy system, understanding your prospective buyers’ interest in renewable energy is crucial. Potential buyers may value the environmental benefits and the promise of lower energy bills, which your home’s solar panels offer.

Here’s how to ensure you’re prepared:

  • Assess the Solar Panel System: Check the condition of your solar panels to ensure they are functioning optimally. This involves examining both the physical panels and the solar power setup. A solar installer or a solar company can conduct a thorough inspection.
  • Gather All Relevant Documentation: Accumulate all necessary paperwork, such as warranties, maintenance records, and details of the solar lease or power purchase agreement if applicable. If you own the solar panels outright, documentation proving ownership is vital.
  • Understand the Financials: Be clear on how the solar panels were financed. Buyers will need to know if they are assuming a solar loan or if the panels are paid off. This information can affect their decision-making process and the home value.
  • Prepare for Questions: Prospective buyers might inquire about the benefits like energy savings, tax benefits from the federal solar tax credit, and any obligations like a continuing solar lease or solar PPA.
Your Guide to Selling a House With Solar Panels Attached

Do Solar Panels Add Value to a Home

Research indicates that solar panels generally boost home value, especially as energy independence becomes a coveted asset among prospective buyers. 

A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab across six states revealed varied impacts on property values near large-scale solar installations. For instance, in regions like Minnesota, North Carolina, and New Jersey, homes within half a mile of these installations saw a price reduction of up to 5.8%.

However, smaller or privately owned solar systems on residential properties tend to increase property value, leveraging clean energy benefits and reducing energy bills. This regional variance underscores the need to consider local market perceptions towards solar energy.

While some areas may experience a dip due to aesthetic or land-use concerns, many see a substantial increase in value due to lower energy costs and environmental benefits.

Homeowners interested in installing solar panels should consult with solar installers and real estate agents familiar with local solar investments to understand how it could affect their selling process.

Benefits of Adding Solar Panels to Your Home

Solar energy systems offer transformative advantages for homeowners, not only enhancing your property’s value but also ensuring energy independence and cost savings.

Here’s a deeper look at each benefit:

1. Increased Affordability

Solar has become more accessible thanks to the federal solar tax credit, which allows a 30% deduction on installation costs. With diverse financing options available, acquiring a solar system often requires minimal upfront costs, making it financially feasible for many homeowners.

2. Cost Savings on Utilities

A solar energy system significantly reduces your monthly energy bills. Depending on the system size and your energy usage, savings can accumulate, offering long-term financial benefits. Net metering further enhances savings by crediting you for the electricity your system adds to the grid.

3. Energy Resilience

Similarly, solar panels paired with battery storage can keep your lights on during power outages, providing a reliable power supply regardless of grid conditions. This setup not only offers convenience but also peace of mind during unpredictable weather or utility outages.

4. Advanced Property Value

Homes with solar panels typically sell at a premium. Studies like those from Berkeley National Laboratory show that solar installations are seen as desirable upgrades, akin to a remodeled kitchen, which can attract prospective buyers looking for modern, energy-efficient homes.

5. Performance Across Climates

Solar technology is versatile, functioning effectively across various climatic conditions. Even in less sunny locales, solar panels can generate significant energy, proving that solar power isn’t just for the sunniest states.

6. Environmental Impact

Installing solar panels significantly reduces your reliance on fossil fuels, decreasing carbon emissions and promoting sustainability. For homeowners conscious of their environmental footprint, solar power offers a way to contribute to a cleaner, greener planet while enjoying reduced energy bills and increasing their home’s appeal to like-minded buyers.

Pros and Cons of Selling a House with Solar Panels

Selling a home with solar panels can sway property value and buyer interest. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the key advantages and potential challenges, ensuring homeowners are well-informed.

Key Benefits of Selling a House with Solar Panels

Solar panels can enhance your home’s appeal and marketability. Here are the key benefits:

  1. Increased Home Value: Homes with solar panel systems often sell at a higher price. Solar investments are seen as valuable upgrades, similar to renovated kitchens, attracting prospective buyers.
  2. Reduced Energy Costs: Solar power significantly lowers utility bills, making homes with solar panels attractive due to the potential for energy savings.
  3. Appeal to Eco-conscious Buyers: As clean energy becomes a priority for many, homes with solar systems appeal to a growing demographic concerned with environmental benefits and energy independence.
  4. Potential for Net Metering Credits: Homeowners with solar systems can benefit from net metering, where excess power is sold back to the utility company, potentially passing on these benefits to the new owner.

Potential Drawbacks of Selling a House with Solar Panels

While beneficial, several considerations might pose challenges when selling. Here are the potential drawbacks:

  1. Complexity of Solar Leases: If the solar panels are leased, transferring the solar lease or power purchase agreement to the new owner can complicate the sale.
  2. Misunderstandings About Maintenance: Some buyers and real estate agents may have misconceptions about the upkeep and durability of solar panels, affecting their decisions.
  3. Upfront Costs for New Buyers: If the solar system is financed, the new homeowner might need to assume the solar loan, which could deter some potential buyers.
  4. Aesthetic Concerns: Depending on the buyer, the presence of solar panels might not be aesthetically pleasing, which can impact the sale negatively.
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Can You Sell A House With Solar Panels

Selling a house with solar panels involves understanding the legal and practical aspects tied to different solar panel agreements.

Here’s how these factors influence the selling process:

1. Owned Solar Panels

If you own your solar panels outright, the selling process is straightforward. The panels, part of the property, boost its market value and appeal to prospective buyers interested in clean energy.

Ownership means no lease transfers, simplifying the sale to mirror a traditional home transaction. Additionally, solar ownership can offer significant energy bill reductions, enhancing the home’s attractiveness.

2. Leased Solar Panels and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)

If the solar panels are leased, you must arrange for the lease to be transferred to the new homeowner. This process can involve credit checks and approvals from the solar company, which might complicate or delay the sale.

Similar to a leased solar system, if the home has a PPA, the agreement stipulates that the new homeowner takes over the contract. This can be a deterrent if the buyer is unwilling to take on the existing terms.

3. Financed Solar Panels

If the panels were purchased through a solar loan, they might need to be paid off upon the sale of the house unless the buyer agrees to take over the solar loan. Clear communication with the mortgage lenders and any involved solar provider is essential to facilitate this aspect of the sale.

Each type of solar agreement can affect the selling process differently. Selling homes with owned panels typically adds value and is less complex.

For those with leased or financed systems, it’s crucial to include an inspection checklist before selling the house, as these arrangements can introduce additional steps and require a more thorough explanation to buyers interested in the home.

Overcome Challenges and Get The Best Deal

When it comes to selling a house with solar panels, overcoming obstacles such as buyer hesitation or financial concerns is crucial. Educating potential buyers about the benefits, like reduced energy costs and environmental impact, can mitigate doubts.

Offering clear information on solar leases, ownership, and any solar loans can smooth the process and highlight energy efficiency upgrades. 

If you’re facing difficulties, such as a property needing repairs or looking for the best time to sell a house, remember that Leave The Key Homebuyers is here to help.

If you’re looking to sell your house in New York, we’re here to help. Also, we buy houses in Albany and provide tailored solutions to get your property back on track, ensuring a seamless process.

Reach out today to discover how we can assist you in understanding the selling process with ease.

Your Guide to Selling a House With Solar Panels Attached | Leave The Key Homebuyers