Selling a home is intimidating enough, but selling a home with solar? You might think having solar on your home would make the home sale process even more complicated. In fact, solar typically makes it easier, and faster, to sell your home. Home buyers show increasing interest in homes with green features. A study by the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab proves that solar increases property values by $3.50 to $4.00 per watt. That’s up to $28,000 for a 7,000-watt system.
New England Clean Energy customer Mike successfully sold his Shirley, Mass., home in 2017, three years after installing solar. We asked Mike about his experience.
Do you think you got a premium for your solar?
Mike: I absolutely think that solar increased the value of my home. My home appraisal went from $236,000 to $296,000, a $60,000 increase, in just 2-1/2 years. The new appraisal was incredible, considering that the system cost was $16,748 (after tax credits and the state rebate).
Did solar make your home easier or harder to sell?
Mike: Because I owned the panels — I didn’t lease them — it made the home sale easier. In the end, the buyer completely understood the value of the SREC income, and the electricity savings, which were especially important in a 100% electric home. I got my asking price, paid off my solar loan with the proceeds, and still made a significant profit from the sale — roughly $43,000.
Was your realtor knowledgeable about solar?
Mike: I had three real estate agents evaluate my home. One told me solar added zero value. One was not familiar with it, but doubted a serious increase in value. The final realtor understood the potential value, but made sure that we understood the need to document the value for the appraiser. Ultimately, the appraiser was the one who needed to see the value.
Were the buyers knowledgeable about solar?
Mike: Not at first, but I showed them my electric bills and my SREC income for the previous two years. And I introduced them to New England Clean Energy so they could take advantage of your customer resources and support.
Do you have advice for people selling (or buying) a home with solar?
Mike: If you are selling, you need to illustrate the change in your electric bill and document your SREC income, so the value of the solar is clear. In my case, the new owner received a less than 3-year-old solar energy system and seven years of SRECs. They have no electric bills, no payments on the system, and pure income for seven years.
If you’re buying a home with solar, make sure the system was sized appropriately and that the proof of savings is present. Finally, make sure you get the rights to the SREC income moving forward.
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