ION Solar Blog

The Ultimate Guide To Buying or Selling A Home With Solar Panels

With solar on the rise it’s not uncommon to come across a home with solar when you are on the market for a new house. If you’ve already installed solar on your home, it’s important to be thinking about what to expect when it comes time to sell your house. Solar systems influence a home’s selling price along with its marketability. Studies show that homes with solar systems sell for higher prices and more quickly than those without solar. Don’t let the idea of selling or buying a home with panels prevent you from getting solar. We are here to help answer any questions that may come up when buying or selling a home with solar panels. Let’s get started!

Buying A Home With Solar Panels

Buying a home with solar panels already in place comes with great financial benefits. You don’t have to go through the process of switching to solar but still get to reap the benefits of it. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when moving forward with a sale on a home with solar panels:

  • Have an inspection completed on the roof:  An inspection will help assure that there was no damage done to the roof during the installation of the panels. Taking the time to get this done before you finalize your purchase will be will worth it. It will provide you peace of mind and make you more confident in your purchase.
  • Review the seller’s utility bills: Asking to see the current homeowner’s utility bill is necessary so you know what kind of savings to expect. Each state and utility company is different. Some of them do roll-over solar credits while some will pay homeowners for the excess electricity their panels produce. Take into consideration the system size and if it will meet your family’s energy needs.
  • Know who manufactured & installed the panels:  This is important because if there are any issues you know who to contact. Ask about warranty terms on both the panels and the inverters. This way if you do run into any issues down the road you know what your options are.
  • Know how the solar panels are financed: The most important thing to know before finalizing a sale on a home with solar panels is how they are financed. There are several ways solar is financed: it can be done through an outright purchase, a loan, a lease, or a Purchase Power Agreement.

Homes With A Leased Solar System Or PPA

With a Purchase Power Agreement or lease, the homeowner doesn’t own the solar system. Instead, they pay each month to use solar power. Either a solar company or a third party owns the system and is responsible for any maintenance and upkeep. When solar is done this way the system cannot contribute to the appraised value of the house. Before purchasing a home with a solar lease or PPA tied to it be sure to review the contract. Each solar provider’s terms will vary.

Homes With Fully-Owned Solar System

The ideal scenario when purchasing a home with a solar system is one that was bought outright by the previous owner. When the system bought through a cash purchase it is considered to be a fixture of the home, therefore,  adding to the overall equity of it. As a homebuyer once the purchase of the home is complete you will also be the owner of the solar system.

Homes With A Solar Loan

When you buy a home with a system purchase through a loan, the seller of the home is responsible for paying the remaining loan for the panels. You can even move the solar panels from one house to another when you decide to make the move.  Buyers are not responsible for the payments once they buy the home. But as a homebuyer, this means that the cost of the solar panels and the loan payments are often factored into the selling price of the home.

Selling A Home With Solar Panels

If you bought your solar panels outright then the selling process will be fairly simple. Gather all documentation in regards to your system and your most recent utility bills to show the buyer.

The process for selling a home with a loan is fairly straightforward. Homes with a solar loan will require you to pay off the remaining loan balance. You can factor the remaining loan balance into the listing price of the home. The additional revenue received from factoring in the cost of the solar panels to your home’s selling value will help pay off the remainder of your solar loan.

Selling a home with a solar lease or PPA will require you to either buy out the remaining lease payments yourself, or you can find a buyer who is willing to take over the solar lease payments. As long as the new owner meets the third-party owner’s criteria and they are willing to take the lease on under their name, transferring the lease is a great option when selling your home. Plan ahead before you sell your home. You need to ensure that you can afford to pay off your lease before listing your home. Work with a knowledgeable realtor who is educated on the selling process of homes with solar leases.

The Benefits Of Solar

  • Energy savings: Solar panels typically pay themselves back in about 10 years. Our premium solar panels made right here in the U.S.A. have a warranty of 25 years. This means that the savings solar panels can generate for you are big. Between your utility bill savings, incentives, and rebates you are getting will help your overall cost savings.
  • Save the environment: Solar is the most abundant renewable resource we have access to. While solar makes good sense from a financial point of view, the environmental benefits of solar are worth noticing. Switching to solar reduces your carbon footprint and helps save our beautiful planet.
  • Energy independence: Deciding to go solar means taking energy into your owns hands becoming your own power provider. This gives you more freedom and security when it comes to powering your home. Going solar allows homeowners to reduce their energy costs, positively impact the environment, and become energy independent.


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