Buyers don’t always know much about solar power, so buying a home with solar panels might be intimidating. It is a good idea for a seller to find a real estate agent who understands the advantages of them. Among the traits to look for in a realtor is someone who recognizes the value in your home and can put together a marketing strategy to highlight it. This is particularly important with features like solar panels, as they can help alleviate any uncertainty a potential buyer may have. And more importantly, find those buyers who will see the value in such home additions.
Taking Over a Lease. Assuming responsibility for a solar panel lease is a commitment that will involve additional costs of anywhere from about $50 to $250 per month. The buyer must also meet the credit requirement of the solar company. This could rule out some buyers with poor credit ratings, as they’re already taking on a new mortgage. Transferring the lease is not complicated but will involve extra paperwork. Special care should be taken so the process doesn’t delay closing.
Maintenance. Buyers may wonder what type of maintenance goes along with having solar panels. Very little needs to be done other than cleaning the panels every two to three months. Solar companies will do this for a fee, but a homeowner can do it themselves if they choose.
Warranties, Insurance, and Replacement. One thing buyers should ask is the age of not only the solar panels but also the roof. Warranties for the panels should transfer with the lease or the purchase. And solar panel insurance is included in most homeowner’s insurance policies, so the buyer can be confident that any damage, for instance from a storm, will be taken care of.
The age of the roof and panels can be important, though. Replacing a roof with solar panels is an ordeal. The panels must be removed by the solar company before the roofers can take over. Then, once the new roof is in place, the solar company must re-install the panels.
Getting a new roof is often recommended as part of the list of things to fix before selling a home. The seller will have an easier time selling a home with solar panels if both the roof and panels are somewhat new. If either is nearing the end of its life, the asking price might have to take a significant hit.
Curb Appeal. Solar panels must be installed on the south-facing side of a home. This could end up being the front or a highly visible side of the house. The look of roof-mounted solar panels may be a turn-off for some potential buyers, and there is nothing a seller can do about it. This doesn’t mean selling the house will be impossible, but it may take longer and require some creative marketing.