Impact of solar panels on home sales

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Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance in Loveland

Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance

LOVELAND – Solar panels have popped up on rooftops all over Colorado. It seems to have been a huge trend over the last several years given the growing desire to be eco-friendly and the big incentives offered by solar panel companies. Homeowners might not have realized that these solar panels can have an impact when it comes to selling a home. Here’s how…

Buyer appeal
Some buyers will love that a home is equipped with solar panels, while others may not be so enthusiastic. It’s not that they don’t have a desire to be environmentally conscious. They simply may not agree with or want to deal with solar panel contracts.

Impact on curb appeal
Placement of solar panels is extremely important. Panels placed on the front roof of a home can be an eye sore in some cases. It can reduce curb appeal, which correlates to less buyer interest or a lower selling price.

Transferability and logistics
Since solar panel contracts are specific to a property and homeowner, they may need to be transferred to the new owner or removed from the property altogether. Homeowners will need to review the specific terms/options, communicate that to potential buyers, and complete any necessary steps to resolve the situation prior to closing.

Added legal requirements
The existence of solar panels adds another legal aspect to a home sale. Buyers and sellers may want to seek legal advice to understand the contract and what their rights and options are. Additional time may be required before closing to review the information and resolve the matter (whether it be transferring the contract or having the panels removed).

What buyers and sellers should know
We are certainly not discouraging the use of solar panels in a home. It is important for everyone to be more environmentally conscious. However, as a homeowner, it is critical that you fully understand the placement and terms of your solar panel contract and how it may impact a future home sale. Be prepared to provide necessary documentation to potential home buyers.

For home buyers, understand solar contracts fully before accepting a transfer into your name. Given that most people live in a home for just 5-7 years, think about your future resale potential and impact as well. Weigh this against the benefits (both environmental and financial) of having solar power in your new home.

Suzanne Plewes is a broker associate at RE/MAX Alliance. Write to 750 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland, CO 80537, call 970.290.0373 or e-mail suzanneplewes@remax.net.

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