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What Happens If I Have Solar But Want to Sell My House?

By Holly Glem | October 23, 2017

One of the most common questions we face when sitting with someone reviewing their solar proposal is “what if I want to sell my home after I buy solar?” So we are going to preempt you and answer now.

The quick and easy answer is this: It’s easy to move with solar, and it only provides benefits for you as a seller (and your buyer).

Solar Adds Equity to a House

It is quickly becoming a well-established fact that solar panel systems significantly increase the equity and appraisal value of a home. A recent study published by the New York Times indicates that homes with these systems installed on them not only have higher value, but also sell faster on the market than homes without solar power.  

In fact, buyers are more interested in homes with systems that have been installed and maintained by reputable solar power companies. The study points out that on average buyers are willing to pay as much as $15,000 more for a home that has a 3.6 kW solar panel system on it.

 The appraisal industry has been quick to respond to the growing interest from buyers in homes that utilize green energy like solar power. Houses on the market that have systems created, installed, and maintained by solar companies continue to be appraised for higher resale totals than homes that rely on conventional coal or petroleum-based power.

 The increased interest that buyers have in homes that already come with solar installed should be good news for you as a potential seller. Even so, you may wonder about the specifics of selling your house.

Selling a Home with Solar Panels

 Many people today do not plan on living in their homes for more than 10 to 20 years before they consider buying a new one. When you want to sell a house that has a solar panel system installed in it, you have three ready options available to you to ensure a smooth transaction to the new owner.

YOU CAN PAY THE SYSTEM OFF IN FULL BEFORE YOU SELL THE HOUSE.

This option of course would be the easiest if you have the financial means to do so. You would satisfy the terms of the loan, then simply incorporate the cost of the system itself into the asking price of the home (or more, as it is arguable they increase the value by more than the cost of solar). You would recoup your money with the sale and also would guarantee the legal and complete transfer of the system to the new owner.

YOU CAN INCLUDE THE BALANCE OF YOUR LOAN IN THE ASKING PRICE OF THE HOME.

This is the most common method of selling a home with solar. Once the home sells, you can use that amount to pay off the solar panel system. This option, too, would allow ownership of the system to go to the buyer instead of you.

In these two scenarios, the buyer is purchasing a home with little-to-no monthly utility bill. It’s a higher price for a home that cuts out a monthly bill. That’s a pretty nice benefit to a home purchase.

YOU CAN CHOOSE TO TRANSFER THE LOAN TO THE NEW HOMEOWNER AND THEY CAN CONTINUE TO MAKE PAYMENTS.

These options are available to you as a homeowner who wants to free yourself from the obligation and responsibility of solar panel ownership once you sell your house. Real estate agents today are becoming more knowledgeable about these unique home sales and increasingly are taking on clients on both side of the transaction who realize the advantage that can come from having solar panels installed on a house.

Solar power systems can last for decades and for much longer than people intend to live in the homes in which they are installed. The prospect of selling a house that has financed solar panels on it no longer has to be a dilemma that prolongs the sale.

You can put your house up on the market and know what your options are for selling both the home and solar system by using the increased buyer interest in green energy houses to your advantage. You may be able to close the sale and transfer ownership of the system quicker than you realize.

Topics:   Learn About Solar

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