Is It Harder to Sell a House with Solar Panels?

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Going green is increasingly popular for Americans. Almost two in three consumers in North America prefer to shop from brands that are eco-friendly. But when it comes to buying a house, some of the more environmentally conscious options can actually deter home buyers. That is often the case for homes that have solar panels.
Does solar technology make it tougher to sell a house, and what are the objections people have to solar panels? Here’s what you want to know.

Leased Solar Panels Repel Some Buyers

Solar leases are typically long-term, from 20 to 25 years. Once the lease is complete, homeowners can choose whether to renew the lease or buy out the system. But when someone is shopping for a new home, a lease on utilities isn’t a very attractive option.
Mortgages are tough in the first place. Buying a home with an extra financial commitment (even with the financial upside of energy savings every month) leads some potential buyers to avoid a home with a solar lease.

Solar Tech Can Be Confusing to Buyers

How do the batteries work? Does the solar power cover all your electrical needs? Do you still need hydro power if you have solar? Are the costs fixed? What happens if something breaks?
There are a lot of questions buyers can have regarding solar technology, and if someone can’t give them a good answer, they’ll take a hard pass.
To resolve the objection, you may be able to assure home shoppers by leaving documentation out during an open house and showings. Still, solar panels can create a barrier of confusion for someone in the market.

Realtors Might Not Be Convinced

Before someone gets an opportunity to see your home, solar panels and all, their real estate agent may dissuade them. If the realtor doesn’t fully understand the value of solar power or how it affects the home’s value and ongoing utility costs, they may steer buyers in a different direction altogether.
Realtors are bound to operate on their clients’ behalf, so if they don’t trust or understand the technology or benefits, they might not present the home as an option.

It’s Tough to Value Solar Power

Like appraising a classic car for insurance, there’s no benchmark for homes that have solar power. How do you price your home with an upgrade like solar power?
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) now offers “green” fields for a home’s market profile for features like LEED certification or geothermal heating, but achieving an accurate appraisal for the added value isn’t easy. However, determining what a solar power system is worth individually through PVValue.com is a good first step.
To get an accurate appraisal for your home’s value when it has solar panels requires a knowledgeable appraiser in your area. Whether it’s the homeowner or the realtor, it makes good sense to call appraisers familiar with solar panels to help establish your home’s asking price. The cost is well worth it.