Solar panels have been getting a lot of press in the residential marketplace these days. But it's also not uncommon to see solar panels on parking structures and commercial buildings. For this very reason, the National Association of REALTOR®s will be introducing a solar course this year.
Solar installations have reached epic proportions in the US. According to Solar Industries Association Quarterly report, installations increased by 24% from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016! That's a HUGE increase. And there are no signs of it slowing down.
As prices drop for solar panels, demand increases, so it's a safe bet that if you haven't seen a home with solar panels on it, you will. And those same homes will eventually be listed for sale.
Knowing how to sell homes with solar panels requires specific knowledge in order to gain value for homes with "owned" solar panels.
Appraisers must be educated in order to understand that they need to use the "income approach" in order to gain value for the panels.
According to the 2015 updated Fannie Mae guidelines, leased solar panels do not have value. Still, there are nuances with this type of solar panel installation and sale. Buyers must meet FICO requirements, lease payments are added to a buyers' debit to income ratio in order to qualify, there may or may not be a lien on the property, and solar leases don't transfer at the title company.
Ultimately it's up to the agent to know both sides of the solar panel equation. If you don't, then you are not acting in your clients best interests and might be leaving money on the table when a home with owned panels sells.
For these reasons, the Department of Energy has funded a course for real estate professionals. Coming this spring is the new solar panel course by the National Association of REALTOR®s.
I'm excited to have been chosen as one to review the course and offer insights. I can tell you it's very thorough and you'll be better prepared to list and sell homes with solar panels. BUT, I highly recommend agents also earn a green designation as the solar panel course is introductory in nature. Understanding the complete picture of a homes' energy efficiency is value added service, benefiting the seller in MANY ways.
If you're looking for an agent who understands how to sell homes with solar panels, please give me a call.