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By : Preston Guyton, 07-27-2017

The ability to live a greener lifestyle is at the top of the list for more prospective home buyers than ever before. This is, in part, due to millennial buyers, who currently make up the largest segment of prospective home buyers in the United States.

Known for being environmentally aware, technologically astute, and value conscious, millennial buyers are often drawn to homes that offer the green features and environmentally friendly materials and options they desire. Therefore, homeowners who are selling homes with features like solar panel leases will want to make sure they are marketing them effectively to increase their chances of capturing this interest.  

Energy Savings Can Help Fuel Market Appeal 

In addition to the desire to shrink the home's carbon footprint, rising utility costs across the nation continue to fuel buyer interest in all types of energy savings features and options. Because of this, homeowners with solar panel leases are in an excellent position to market them favorably, even though the lease itself can be tricky to navigate.
Dealing Effectively with Solar Panel Lease Questions from Buyers 

Selling a home with any type of unique feature, such as a solar panel lease, can create questions in the minds of prospective purchasers. Sellers who can provide answers to these questions, supported by valid information are more likely to overcome any buyer hesitation that may exist and increase the odds of getting a good offer on their home. Effective ways for providing these answers during the marketing of a home with a solar panel lease include:

  • providing documentation that clearly shows how the solar panels provide a cost savings for the homeowner, such as showcasing a year of pre-solar energy bills for the home, along with those from a more recent twelve-month period when solar power was in use
  • providing a packet of detailed information about the solar panel lease, including the date of installation, the installing company, terms, service plan information, and any applicable warranties or exclusions 
  • providing information to help prospective buyers understand that the value offered by the solar panels on the home should continue to increase as energy costs and utility bills continue to rise
In addition to providing this type of information, sellers should also be able to offer prospective buyers helpful information about purchasing a home with a solar panel lease, such as the Energy Efficient Mortgage, offered through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). This loan offers affordable financing options to buyers who want to buy a home with solar power that may be costlier to purchase than another home without solar power options. 

Buying Out the Solar Panel Lease Agreement

Sellers who find themselves unable to get suitable offers on a home equipped with leased solar panels can also consider buying out the lease agreement to make their home more marketable. This is often the best choice when prospective buyers are interested in purchasing the home and want to enjoy the benefits of solar power, but are not willing or able to undergo the credit qualification process or take on existing debt with the solar panel leasing company. 

The Actual Value of Solar Panels 

Since any buyer taking over an active solar panel lease agreement will need to qualify for credit with the solar panel leasing company, sellers may find it easier to market their home by offering to buy out the lease agreement in return for receiving a higher purchase offer on their home. When contemplating this type of situation, home sellers will need to make sure that both they and their buyers are aware of and in agreement on the actual value represented by the existing solar panels.

It is also important to remember that this additional value will need to be documented and supported by any home appraisal process that is used as part of the buyer's financing. The good news is the Federal National Mortgage Association are now actively supporting appraisal policy changes to analyze the potential for added value in homes equipped with solar panels. 

Looking for a realtor experienced with solar leases? Try using EZBZ - the free concierge service. We'll help you find and compare realtors in your area that match what you're looking for. Download the EZBZ app or call us on 1-855-461-8619 to get started. 

Download the EZBZ App for free

Download the EZBZ App for free
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