Selling the Solar Sizzle, Not the Steak

Real Estate Agent with Springs Homes Inc.

Solar energy in homes has become very popular. The solar companies have done a great job of bringing solar to the masses. Many homeowners have added solar to their property. In addition to savings on energy, the panels also increase the property value.

Many homeowners assume buyers will be attracted to the prospect of owning a home with solar panels. It turns out this isn't the case, not that they don't care about solar, and the environment. Most homebuyers are actually more attracted to the savings, not the panels themselves. It's the perfect example of selling the sizzle, not the steak.

The National Association of Realtors conducts a survey of home buyers and sellers. This survey looks at factors influencing the home buying and selling experience. The survey found that 84% of buyers thought heating and cooling costs were important. Compared to 15% who thought solar was important.

This is not a big surprise, at least not to real estate professionals that work with homebuyers. Solar panels are still a bit of a mystery to many buyers. When viewing homes with solar panels, buyers ask questions about care and maintenance. This shows they are unfamiliar with how modern panels operate. As a listing agent, it's important to understand this fact. When you are listing a home with solar panels, you should promote the energy savings, not the panels.

Home Sellers also have some responsibility when it comes to selling a home with solar panels. The ownership of the panels becomes a big issue for the buyer's lender. They want to know that they will stay with the house, and won't end up being repossessed for lack of payment. So it becomes important for the seller to make sure the solar panels don't end up being a problem on the way to closing. Do some research on selling a home with solar panels before you list the home.

Also, it's a good idea to get as much information as possible about the panels to your agent. They'll need information about whether the system is leased, owned, or financed. Additionally, the kilowatt-hours the system produces are a good thing to know. This information should be included in the MLS, and any advertising.

Once the home is on the market, it's a good idea to show off the energy-saving you have gained from your solar panels. Keeping past utility bills out for buyers to see is a great way to do this. It's also effective to show before and after results. If you have older bills (pre-solar), you can leave those out as well but make sure to note that they are pre-solar. Remember, you are selling the savings, not the panels.

Another good way to promote your solar-powered home is through net metering. Net metering is a system that uses your utility meter to track of the energy your panels produce. The energy produced by your panels is sent back into the grid, and you are credited back on your bill. This makes it easy to show prospective buyers how much you are saving.

Solar panels are popular and appear to be the future of electricity production. If you have a system and are selling your home remember to sell the results, not the panels.

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