Buying or Selling a Home with Solar | Here’s What You Need to Know

As more homeowners invest in solar, more and more people will be faced with buying or selling a home with solar. In fact, here at Sandbox Solar, we frequently get asked to help buyers and sellers determine the value of a system and how it will affect the transaction. 

Summertime is one of the busiest times of year for real estate sales in Northern Colorado, and if you’re buying or selling a home with solar soon, you’re going to want to read this blog. We’re covering the ins and outs of buying or selling a home with solar and what you need to know before you sign on the dotted line. 

Selling a Home with Solar

  • Work with a Realtor who understands solar and it’s value – If you’re selling your Northern Colorado home and it already has a solar system on it, you’ll definitely want a Realtor who understands solar to represent your home. A Realtor’s job is to market your home well and help you get top dollar for it. By working with someone who understands the intrinsic value of solar, he or she will help you highlight your system and get top dollar for it. Your qualified Realtor will help ensure that everyone from the appraiser to the buyer sees the value of solar which is key to realizing the solar investment you’ve made. If you need help finding a Realtor who understands solar, contact us! We’re happy to connect you with tried and true real estate professionals who get solar.
  • Homes with solar are worth more – A recent study sponsored by the Department of Energy looked at the sale of 22,000 homes over the span of several years. In that study, 4,000+ of the homes had solar systems installed. This study found that on average, buyers were willing to pay an additional $15,000 for homes with solar systems even when controlling for factors such as location, home type, and solar system type. If your home has solar installed, know that it’s a selling factor, and will help increase the value and sale price of your home.
  • Get it appraised – As you’re getting your home appraised to determine your for sale price, be sure to fill out the Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum to give the appraiser (and your Realtor) so they have all the necessary information they need to be sure the value of the system is included in your appraisal, and therefore the sales price of the home.
  • Be prepared – Buyers will be very interested in your solar system and will want to know all about it. Be prepared to answer questions about energy savings, monthly fees, loan details, how it works, who installed it, and so on. The better able you are to answer their questions about the system, the more comfortable they will be purchasing a home with a solar system. 

Even if you’re not selling your home today, but you’re on the fence about installing a solar system because you don’t know if you’ll own the home for years, there’s good news! You can absolutely recoup the costs of a solar system even if you only own the home for a few years because buyers find it to be a valuable investment!  

Buying a Home with Solar

  • Understand the system – Before you ever buy a home with a solar system, be sure you understand the ins and outs of the system. You’ll want to know if the system is bought or leased, how much it costs per month, what the utility savings are, and so on. Getting these questions answered upfront will help you determine if the additional sales price of the home is worth it and what you’re signing up for if you become the new homeowner.
  • Consider an inspection – If you’re worried about the system or the roof underneath it, it might be worth getting a second opinion from a solar expert. They can help you determine if the additional cost of the solar system is worth it and ensure the system is in top shape.
  • Getting a mortgage loan – While solar panels are a great investment, the added cost of the system might affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan. Before you get too far into the process, be sure to check with your lender to verify a home with a solar system will fit into your budget.
  • Know the warranty – Ask the current homeowner about the warranty on the system just in case anything goes wrong. Solar systems should last as many as 25 years, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, inheriting a system with a longer warranty is the safest choice. 

If you’re buying or selling a home with solar this summer, the local solar experts at Sandbox Solar can help! We’re here to guide you in getting the most out of your investment or to make a smart choice if you’re buying a home with an existing solar system. Contact us today with any questions you may have about buying or selling a home with solar.

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