Leased solar panelsLeased Solar Panels Can Cause Problems When You Try to Sell Your Home

If you are thinking of putting leased solar panels on your house, be sure you understand the possible ramifications when it is time for you to sell your house.  The information here is also good for buyers as they may find a house with leased solar panels that they’d like to buy. 

Generally - with no regard to financing – buyers perceive solar panels in a positive way.  But when panels come with a long term lease the reaction is often very different.   There has been a large increase in the number of US residences with solar panels since leasing has become available and even plentiful.  But there are a growing number of reports that many buyers are resistant to assuming solar panel  leases which have more than 10 years left to run. 

Some of the issues that can complicate or even kill a real estate deal are: 

  • Leases are considered too long and the solar panels may be technologically obsolete long before the lease term is up. 
  • The question of whether the companies that provide the solar panels will still be around to provide service on the panels for the life of the lease. 
  • Buyers will most likely need to qualify for additional credit to take over the solar lease payment.   This can be a problem with their credit and can cause them to have less buying power in buying a house.

Many real estate experts are saying that these concerns are actually causing either reduced final sale prices of houses or sellers will often have to pay off (sometimes tens of thousands of dollars) to get out of the lease either at or prior to closing.

Homeowners with leased solar panels should find out well in advance of putting their homes on the market about the lease-assumption process from the company doing the financing of their solar panels.  Also find out about the buy-out options.  Have records available on the energy cost savings before you put your house on the market.  Buyers beware!  Do your research.  Find out all you can before you make an offer on a house with leased solar panels.

Selling your home