Selling a Home with Solar. Potential Issues ?

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Realty SL3503488

You have decided to sell your home. You had a solar system installed on your roof just a few short years ago..   You have been loving the very low to zero electric bills for the time you have had the system.  This should be an easy sell, what buyer wouldn't want next to zero electric bills..

Not so fast?  If you bought your solar system outright when you had them installed the chances of you have a problem with the new buyer is probably none.  

When you had the system installed did you sign a lease, to lease the system over 20 or 25 years? If you did, this is where you can run into problems with a buyer. 

If the buyer is obtaining mortgage to buy for home, the monthly lease payment that you are asking the buyer to take over and pay, IT will count in their debt/income ratio, potentially affecting whether they qualify for the loan or not.  

The buyer also has to apply and qualify with a good credit score to take over the lease, this process can take a few days.  

As a seller you may consider buying out the lease so that you can transfer the house to the buyers with no debt associated with the solar system. This could costly for you as a seller. 

Did you finance the purchase of the solar system?  In this case you will have to pay off the financing at closing, so you can transfer the home clear of that lien. 


How much life is left on your roof?  Someday your roof will need to be replaced, how much life does your roof have left?  One major factor that could come up is that your roof needs to be replaced soon.   Have you thought about the issues that solar panels can cause if you need a new roof?  

The expense of removing all the panels, replacing the roof and re installing all the panels can be really expensive..  Some solar system companies say that they will come and remove them, store them, and re install them if you are leasing.. Just beware if the company that installed your system has gone out of business since you had the panels installed this could be a problem. 

Does having Solar Panels make it harder to sell your home?  If you can show potential buyers the amount of energy savings you have been realizing then it should be easy.. You will probably have to show them your monthly bill.

In some areas, power companies are now charging electric customers a monthly fee for access to their grid and maintenance for their power lines etc.  In my area that is currently $30 a month so your electric bill isn't going to be zero. If you are paying a monthly lease payment on top of that which could be another $70+ a month it starts to add up. 

Other things to consider. If you are leasing the system the company will pay for repairs and maintenance , if you own it you would be paying those things. 


In summary, solar should be a benefit to a buyer, sitting down and talking with a Real Estate professional when considering selling to talk over what is best for you as a seller to do based on the market you are in...   Selling a home in Florida versus a home in a State that doesn't get as much sunshine will make a difference.

If you are thinking of selling your home in the Davenport area of Florida, which is just 8 miles SW of Disneyworld contact me today .  

All Photos used in this blog are from istock Getty Images 

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Comments (2)

Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

I quickly learned about solar leases and how at the end of the term of the lease, some firms still own the solar equipment. Also the monthly lease is part of the monthly payment calculations affordability. Here is again where the "devil is in the details."

Sep 27, 2022 09:15 AM
Alan Brown

Yes it sure can be tricky figuring it out..  

Sep 27, 2022 01:26 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
Sep 28, 2022 03:39 AM