Do Not Put Solar Panels On Your Roof Until You Read This...

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP 0524642

Last week I met with a soon to be home seller who had just spent $44,000.00 on solar panels. The average sales price for homes like his is approximately $250,000.00. When the sales representative came to terms with Mr. Seller he informed him that his "investment" would bring substantial value to his home and that he should have "no problem recouping his investment." 

This was a big, fat, horrible lie.


Let's look at the facts:

1. The comparable sales for the property are 250k, not 300k. Any dollar amount above and beyond the comparable range will be scrutinized by buyers, buyers agents, the appraiser and the underwriter. That's too people to appease. Real estate appraisers offer opinions of value that can either "hit value" or torpedo a current transaction that is under contract. In further out suburbia (Houston) you almost NEVER get dollar-for-dollar return on your investment. A 75k pool may only get you an additional 35k on your sales price. 

2. NEVER believe "this will increase the value of your home" without first talking to a local Realtor or even an appraiser. The difference is that most Realtors will not charge a $450.00 fee to talk to you about the area values as they hope to be YOUR Realtor when you list your home. So if you want to know what your home is worth (before and after repair value) simply ASK.

3. Don't run to the world wide web looking for an "instant valuation of your home." Zillow does not have access to comparable sales in Texas and in fact, it gives themselves 1 star out of five for accuracy. Texas is a non-disclosure state. 


4. Contact your current insurance company before adding such an expense as solar panels. Learn how it will impact the cost of your annual home owners insurance. Remember that buyers may not want the added annual expense that could very easily offset the money they just paid for the "overpriced house," not to mention the takeaway from the electric bill they thought they were saving on each month!


5.  What happens when the roof goes bad?!? Will the roofer charge more to deal with this improvement? What about potential roof leaks? 


Lastly, use common sense when taking on home improvement projects. Improve your home while you live in it and not just at the last minute. In Houston, people need good working air-conditions more than they care about mosaic tile in the master bathroom. Spend money in your kitchens, your floors, your water heaters and your roof as they're all solid investments. 

Posted by


Greg Nino
, Houston area Realtor®.
Helping residential buyers, sellers and tenants 7 days a week.
Available @ 832-298-8555 

RE/MAX Compass (Formerly RE/MAX WHP)




The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy, completeness or appropriateness for any particular purpose. All information is copywritten and the property of Greg Nino.  






Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Susan McCall, Independent Listing and Buyer Agent 09/13/2017 09:26 AM
  2. Terry Kraemer 10/22/2018 08:12 AM
Home Improvement

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Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou

Oh wow! Maybe an eco-friendly cash buyer would pay more than $250k, but you're exactly right--not $300K.  

Aug 12, 2017 12:22 PM #1
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Greg this is so important. We've been letting our clients know for many years that they should call us BEFORE they decide on any major changes. Most do call first and are glad they did so.

Aug 12, 2017 01:42 PM #2
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Good advice.  Solar panels have their place but need to be part of an overall strategy encompassing many factors.

Aug 12, 2017 05:53 PM #3
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Lake Forest, CA
Foothill Ranch Specialist

In my area, Solar Panels cause major problems with mortgage financing, especially FHA.

Aug 13, 2017 09:48 AM #4
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Sending you best wishes and hope that you are not being greatly impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Aug 27, 2017 01:49 PM #5
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I hope you are and your family/friends are okay Greg Nino .  I've been thinking about you in the hurricane.  Thoughts go your way!  

Aug 31, 2017 02:38 PM #6
Lauren Williams, CPO
Casual Uncluttering LLC - Woodinville, WA
Professional Organizer: Puget Sound homes

Greg Nino I'm a huge believer in doing anything practical for the environment. Thank you for your article - definitely a needful, even if disappointing (I daydream about a Tesla roof) perspective.

Sep 13, 2017 02:21 PM #7
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Greg Nino

Houston, Texas
Providing Real Estate Advice 7 days a week!
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