What Not to Do When Selling a Home With Solar Panels

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

What Not To Do When Selling a Home with Solar Panels -  

Last week a homeowner called after finding me online.  He explained that he has a beautiful home with solar panels and it's for sale on our MLS.  Interesting that he would call me when it's already listed, but I listened patiently.  He went on to say it's listed with a "service."  The "service" of course is a flat fee provider. My ears pricked up.


Hearing that someone listed it with a "service" AND he has solar panels not only means he isn't getting fair representation, but also that he's relying on the buyer's agent to help him earn value for those panels. 


As an EcoBroker and NAR GREEN® agent, I knew immediately that he didn't understand the selling process of a home with solar panels.  There are several steps that must take place in order to gain value for the solar panels.  


The caller and I agreed on a date that I would visit him and view the home.  He told me on the phone that he was not a "know it all" and would be open to hearing what I had to say about Selling a Home With Solar Panels. 


Prior to visiting the home, I decided to check out the listing service.  This is what I found:


The "service" is based out of Pennsylvania. What does someone in PA know about Selling a Home in Arizona With Solar Panels? 


The agent took a class that cost $15, December, 2014, about the "green environment."  Pretty sure there were no specifics about selling a home with solar panels.


The agent is new to the business.  Not a bad thing, but I'd bet my 12 years, 7 of which as an agent with green designations, that I could one up the conversation on this topic. 


Upon visiting the home, I explained that first, the driving directions were wrong; the size of the solar system was not listed; the energy savings were not detailed; and he is relying on the buyers agent to provide value for the solar panels.  Explaining how Agency works and his posture shifted, but he's still waiting 30 days before selecting a full time agent to help him Selling a Home with Solar Panels !


If you have a home with energy efficient, sustainable features, solar panels, please call me!


You need someone who understands the process;  forms are needed that are not in the standard forms; locate a "Green Qualified" appraiser; and know that owned solar panels do provide value!

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Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Can't just pull a value magically out of the air.  The savings have to be factored in. We'll see more homes with solar this year I think. 

Jan 08, 2015 08:37 AM #1
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Kevin Mackessy - You're right!  As a matter of fact, my EcoBroker designation originated in Evergreen, CO!  Your state has a lot of solar!  Thanks for commenting!

Jan 08, 2015 09:05 AM #2
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Wow ... I'm almost speechless.  The old saying, "you get what you pay for" comes to mind ... on both the Seller's part AND that Pennsylvania agent's ...

I'm betting you get a call at the end of the 30 days, Jan Green ...


Jan 08, 2015 09:45 AM #3
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Do you have many solar panel homes in our area Jan?  We don't, but I'm sure there is a nuance to them and you are the go to Jan Green 

Jan 08, 2015 12:14 PM #4
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Jan, It's too bad he didn't call you first, but I know after you visit with him, and give him your consultation about the benefits of GREEN, and how he could get a better value for his home if the agent is marketing his home to feature the added benefits of energy savings from those Solar Panels.

I am sure the homeowner will be calling you to list after his agreement expires with that Flat Fee Service Broker.

Jan 08, 2015 12:44 PM #5
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Jan, It sounds like he had no clue about “representation.”  I hope you get the listing … I’ll bet he does not wait 30 days.

Jan 08, 2015 10:53 PM #6
Michael O'Donnell
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Arizona Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
GRI, ePRO, Accessible Homes

Jan, thank you for the post. We frequently hear ads for solar energy as we drive around here in the Valley of the SUN. Even those of us who try to stay on top of the market and home technologies need help in this area.

What am I getting at? Well, Jan, wouldn't ActiveRain be a great forum to educate your followers?

I await your next post.

Jan 08, 2015 11:34 PM #7
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Gene Mundt, Chicago-area Mortgage Lender - www.genemundt.com - Thank you for your comments.  Yes, that old adage is true- you do get what you pay for and especially in this instance!

 Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner - Yes we are #1 per capita for solar in the US!  Lots of panels here, so agents best learn what they need to to sell these things!

Jerry Newman - Yes I would have loved to have provided him with my marketing plan and how I sell homes with solar panels.  Getting top dollar for every home is a REALTORs® mission!

Kathleen Daniels - And the irony is that he grew up in the business.  He's in his 70's so that was a long time ago.  I explained agency to him and I think he understood.  We'll see!  

 Michael O'Donnell - I've written many posts on selling homes with solar and energy efficient features.  Go to my profile and see if you can locate all of the green posts I've highlighted!  Thanks for stopping by!

Jan 09, 2015 12:02 AM #8
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Good Lord, the arrogance of this guy. You get what you pay for with these flat fee services. The only transaction issue with a low appraisal last year was a flat fee listing. The owner and his wife were sure they knew the values. The appraisal came in 40 thousand less than they wanted - I warned them and let my buyers write the offer contingent upon the appraisal. They should have hired an agent who knows the market - they were shocked that I was right. Imagine that? 

Jan 13, 2015 11:54 PM #9
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Debb Janes - Yes that is exactly the reason NOT to use a flat fee service that only includes adding the home onto an MLS.  You nailed that one Debb! 


Jan 13, 2015 11:59 PM #10
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Jan Green we have a small percentage of homes with solar panels..... back in the '70's I was one of the first in my area to have them.... they didn't know how to make them properly then.... large, bulky and ugly on the roof.... 

Jan 14, 2015 04:40 AM #11
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Until now, I had no idea the importance of having an agent with experience selling a home with solar panels Jan. I'd call you!  :)

Jan 18, 2015 01:53 PM #12
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Barbara Todaro - That is so interesting to think you knew solar panels when they were first created!  They are still ugly and several companies have tried to make them integrate into the roof.  Problem is that there needs to be air flow between the panels and roof tiles in AZ as the literally cook onto the roof and lose effectiveness!     Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366  - Most people who are in areas not familar with solar panels don't know the extra steps required. It is part of my service and I'm happy to provide it as Arizona is #1 per capita for solar.  CA is right on our heels though and with our utilities wrangling to add fees for those with solar panels, it could deter our solar sales, thus we're not sure how the future looks with our ranking.  Thanks for stopping by Tom!

Jan 19, 2015 02:00 AM #13
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Jan better late than never for that seller, he was lucky to have found you, when selling or buying you always need to consult your local professional Realtor.

Jan 21, 2015 10:51 PM #14
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Jan Green

HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN
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