Solar Course in 2017

By
Real Estate Agent with Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 SA5376460000

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.  http://www.seia.org/research-resources/top-10-solar-states

 

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. 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Frank Rubi 01/06/2017 06:36 AM
Topic:
Home Selling
Location:
Arizona Maricopa County Scottsdale
Groups:
Posts to Localism
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Addicted to Active Rain
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Tags:
green realtor scottsdale
selling homes with solar panels
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sell my home with solar panels
solar panel course for real estate agents

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Rainmaker
514,952
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

This is good information and I'll be keeping my eyes peeled.

Jan 02, 2017 04:51 PM #7
Rainmaker
3,429,346
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

This is a course I have mandated that all my agents take

Jan 02, 2017 05:09 PM #8
Ambassador
3,154,259
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Jan- I know enough about solar panels to know that I don't know enough. If I were an agent, I would be signing up for this course. 

Jan 02, 2017 05:21 PM #9
Ambassador
1,676,600
Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

I'd prefer to leave it to the solar professionals to educate both me and my clients.

Jan 02, 2017 08:54 PM #10
Rainmaker
856,428
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Thank you for commenting Nathan and Angie Gesner !  I've been to Wyoming a few times and feel as if you should have enough sun to garner some of the solar market!  

Spot on  William Feela !  It's invaluable information and that segment of the market is only going to grow!

Exactly Kathy Streib !  

Jan 02, 2017 09:38 PM #11
Rainmaker
856,428
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

That's not a good path to take Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900 .  Solar companies won't guide an agent to include the Debt to Income ratio in a listing, CYA in a listing, or when to call a lender to make sure the buyer is qualified to continue with a contract.  An Addendum needs to be included in a  contract to protect the seller and keep the buyer and agent on the course to completion in the event of  a solar lease, another point that a solar company would have a clue about.  Always good to take NAR courses and those taught by reputable sources.  As an instructor on this topic I can tell you that agents who don't know this information definitely need to take this course, save material and refer back to it.  There are lawsuits going on against agents representing clients with solar panels, very sad!

Jan 02, 2017 09:44 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,322,400
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

That's great news about PV becoming more and more prevalent on homes.  In the sunny areas, all homes should have rooftop solar.

Jan 05, 2017 06:56 PM #13
Rainmaker
130,296
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

Thank you for sharing this great information! In my area, there are not a lot of homes with solar panels, however, some do exist. I will be listing a home that has solar panels. Good to know I need to be more educated!

Jan 05, 2017 07:49 PM #14
Rainmaker
856,428
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089 , yes Solar is more prevaleIent in sunny places like Hawaii at #8 on the per capita chart!

Melissa E. Spittel  - are the panels leased or owned?  Call me if you need help.  I'll assist you with the listing and make you a hero to your clients, no charge!

 

 

Jan 05, 2017 08:53 PM #15
Rainmaker
130,296
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

Jan Green Honestly I don't know if they are leased or owned, The sellers don't plan to list until approx. June, but I will find out. Thanks for offering to be of assistance! I love Scottsdale, by the way. Was just there this past October. My 99-year-old grandmother lives there in Westminster Village, and I have an Aunt & Uncle in Scottsdale, too. I stayed in The Scottsdale Ranch Resort and it was heavenly.

Jan 05, 2017 09:06 PM #16
Rainer
387,773
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Jan,

Solar is interesting. Leased panels often have a remaining value of $30-40k. Worthless, if you can buy much more efficient panels for $10k. I have never liked the leased model.

Jan 05, 2017 10:27 PM #17
Rainmaker
856,428
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Sorry to contradict your answer but leased panels have no value, even if they are pre-paid.  This is per the Fannie Mae guidelines that came out in March, 2015.  I've hosted appraiser courses and sat through 2 days of them, 3 times, so know this for certain.  It's sad that the solar companies don't tell homeowners that when they go to sell their home, the panels have no residual value.  The solar company retains all the rebates and the UCC filings reflect the panels as personal property, hence no value.  

Buying solar panels depends on the size of the system and the goals of the homeowner.  When the solar company interviews the homeowner, they ask how much of their average utility bill they would like to eliminate.  The size of the system is based on the habits, square footage,  and the $ amount the homeowner wants to elliminate.  

I've seen some systems over-sized for the home and the homeowner ends up with a credit on their utility bill.  Sadly the utility company charges more to purchase power then they will credit back for power not used.  Kindo f a 4 to 1 ratio.  These facts might be disclosed to the homeowner, but they soon forget that until they receive the bill! 

Jan 06, 2017 03:59 AM #18
Rainer
426,062
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Early adopters of solar or for that matter most new technologies are simply beta testers IMO so their purchase is more of a personal decision to own the latest and greatest, yet, is generally obsolete and extremely overpriced within 24 months or less. The ROI for most home - owners isn't prudent IMO, but for commercial users could be huge depending on the square foot capacity of the solar panels. 

I've seen marketing brochures of many solar companies and have yet to see any disclaimers about the transfer of solar ownership or elements of concern to consumers regarding the lease of solar energy. Homeowners buyer beware and for most solar IMO really doesn't make economic sense. A better plan is to put your money into an annuity or IRA and let your money grow over the same period of time instead of buying solar. What say you? 

Jan 06, 2017 04:54 AM #19
Ambassador
851,696
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA
FrankRubiRealEstate.com

Jan just yesterday at a listing the Solar Panels discussion came up. I hope to see that CE are award in all states as well. I have taken many classes that could have lead to a designation. I usually attend for the knowledge, it does set you apart from the rest of the field. Good to know that you are involved with the review. 

Jan 06, 2017 06:36 AM #20
Rainmaker
303,362
Teri Pacitto
Compass - Westlake Village, CA
Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty

Solar panels are actually very common in CA be I've sold homes with both leased and owned systems.

The only issues I've experienced are from the lenders for the leased systems. The lender knew going in that there was a leased system and we were told in writing by them that there was no issue with them assuming the lease. 5 days prior to closing it became an issue and luckily the seller had a clause in the lease that the panels could be removed if a new buyer did not want them. They had them moved to their new home.

I personally have a purchased solar system on my home and one on a rental property and my electric bill has me doing the happy dance...4,000sf home in CA uses a lot of electricity and we get a check at the end of year.

Every situation is different and understanding the issues related to solar homes is another part of our job that makes us even more important to our clients. I agree that more education on this topic is needed.

Jan 06, 2017 06:52 AM #21
Rainmaker
1,350,996
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

We don't see many solar panels here in North Idaho, but 30+ years ago had friends who lived off the grid and had built their own system. They used golf cart batteries to store the energy for our many "sunless" days.

Jan 06, 2017 07:55 AM #22
Rainmaker
2,513,261
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I didn't know half of the stuff in the diagrams by heart yet. Love and light! Anyway, keep fighting the good fight, as they say

Jan 12, 2017 11:57 PM #24
Rainmaker
2,513,261
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I've heard that about Ohio but I've also heard it's kind of a great town.

Jan 12, 2017 11:58 PM #25
Rainmaker
856,428
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Frank Rubi the solar panel discussion will only become more prevalent as we move into the future.  This CE class will be national so you can earn the credits and gain the knowledge necessary to know how to gain value for the panels.  

I bet you do see lots of panels Teri Pacitto .  You have a lot of sunny days.  And it's good that you have the experience to discuss it.  I've never had a lender deny lending due to the panels, but never say never.  Good that the clause helped you out. 

 

Jan 13, 2017 08:34 AM #26
Rainmaker
856,428
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Marte Cliff your friends were very creative!  Battery storage for residential use is still not available, but it's coming.  For now, it's too expensive and they are still working the kinks out of it.  Thank you for commenting!

Jan 13, 2017 08:35 AM #27
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