Solar panels are a great way to add energy efficiency to your home. However, if you lease your solar panels, it is important to know that they can complicate matters when it comes time to sell. Here’s why.

Solar Panel Contracts

Most homeowners opt to lease solar panels since it requires no up-front out-of-pocket expense. However, there is a contract period (typically 30 years). If you sell your home during that timeframe, you normally have to get the new buyer to assume your lease or have your panels moved to your new home. Typically, these details need to be finalized before closing.

Assumption of Solar Panel Leases

Every solar panel contract is different. Most allow you to  transfer the contractual obligations to the new home buyer. However, some do not offer a clean transfer. Instead, your name and information may remain on the contract in addition to the new buyer’s name. This is risky since you would remain financially liable, to some extent, if the new home buyer defaulted.

Potential Closing Delays

If the buyer of your home agrees to assume the solar contract, will additional time be required to receive, review, and execute that contract? If you are taking the solar panels with you to your new home, how much time will the solar company need to complete the work? Will the buyer and/or lender allow a closing before this work is completed? What will happen if damage occurs to the roof while the panels are being removed? These could all lead to potential closing delays.

Impact of Solar Panels on MA Home Sales

The impact of solar panels on MA home sales can go beyond closing delays. In some cases, it may deter potential home buyers. Some buyers would prefer not to deal with the complication of solar panels in the home buying process. Additionally, the placement of solar panels may impact the curb appeal of a home, and therefore, the perceived value of the property.

It is important to keep these things in mind as a homeowner. Solar panels can certainly be very appealing to environmentally conscious home buyers, but it’s important to be conscious of the potential complications that it may have on the selling process. If you have solar panels on your home, be sure to contact your solar company to understand your options. Also, disclose known information to potential buyers when you market your home for sale.