Is it harder to sell a house with solar panels?
It’s a question that many homeowners and prospective buyers may be wondering, and yet, no one seems to know the answer.
The concern is twofold: will banks approve loans for homes with solar panels? And will buyers consider it a favorable selling point?
Michael Dinich, who runs Your Money Geek, says yes lenders do see houses with solar panels as riskier than those without them because of an inherent difficulty in determining how much electricity the homeowner needs since people don’t always have steady power use patterns during the day.
That means they can’t determine their energy usage or plan accordingly to pay off a bank loan. The panels also take up space on a roof which could otherwise be used to install more panels, providing the homeowner with more income.
So, owners of solar homes may need to pay off the whole cost of their panels upfront or carry two energy bills – one for them and one for their lender. If they don’t, they risk foreclosure if they can’t make payments.
Some homeowners may be able to convince lenders that their power usage is fairly consistent by providing recent records on electrical usage over time, says Dinich.
Solar panels also could be attractive features for buyers looking at purchasing existing homes since it shows that the owners are environmentally conscious and care about alternative energy sources, he adds.
“The biggest concern is whether you will get a Levelized cost of electricity which matches up with your utility costs,” says Brian DiFeo, owner of Re/Max Allegiance in Flemington, NJ. He suggests potential buyers crunch the numbers themselves to see whether buying a house with solar panels makes financial sense.
Another hurdle is that some states offer incentives for purchasing solar panels but don’t allow homebuyers to use those credits on existing homes. So, there may be no economic incentive to buy a solar home unless you plan on staying there long enough to recoup the money spent on it or even make a profit down the road.
Dave Pedigo, president of Dave Pedigo Real Estate Group in White Plains, NY, says he hasn’t been involved in any transactions where buyers have considered whether a house has solar panels as part of their decision-making process. However, he adds, “I don’t think that it would preclude a buyer from making an offer. I don’t think that it would be a deal-breaker.”
And Florida Realtors CEO Jorge Salazar-Carrillo says his association hasn’t seen any evidence to suggest solar panels hurt resale value. Many homebuyers want homes with energy-saving features and may even pay a premium for them.
Does solar power add value to your house?
One of the most common questions that people have about solar power is whether or not it can add value to your house. Many of the homeowners in the United States are concerned with whether or not it will be worth it when they decide to invest in home improvements such as installing a solar power system. There is much debate on this topic, and we’re going to attempt to answer this question here today.
First, you should understand that when your electricity company manages your use of electricity (directly or through a retailer like Reliant Energy), has less need for backup energy sources (coal and gas-fired plants) and thus saves money and reduces carbon emissions by doing so. When you generate electric power from sunlight during peak periods, these savings would be passed on to you. In many ways, more solar energy users mean a better deal for everyone.
Thus, ensuring that more homeowners can go solar and save money is a win-win situation for the environment and energy consumers – but what about your home’s resale value? Will people be willing to pay more if you have a solar power system installed on your rooftop?
It turns out that evidence suggests that installing solar panels does increase the value of homes. According to recent studies conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the inclusion of photovoltaic (PV) systems in California homes increased their values by $5-$10/W or 15%. This means that your typical 5 kW installation could add between $25,000 and $50,000 to your home’s value.
As more people install solar panels, the premiums that are being offered for homes with them are likely to go down. However, if you’re looking for a way to increase the value of your house, this is certainly one good option.
Can I sell my solar panels?
Yes, you can sell your solar panels. Whether or not you can find people that would want to buy them will mostly depend on which country you are in. Some countries widely adopt renewable energies and have many laws protecting the production of them, while others don’t care as much about sustainable energy sources.
Regardless of where you are, there is a good chance that somebody somewhere wants to buy your used solar panels.
Getting money for old solar panels
If you do decide to sell your old solar panels it might be best if you first look around online for possible buyers. There are some websites online that allow people with old solar panel equipment who wish to sell their products to contact each other and make deals directly without going through a middleman.
If you come across such a website, simply create an account and start searching for people who are interested in buying your solar panels.
After finding someone willing to buy your old solar panel system, the next thing you have to do is contact them and talk about the details of the deal. Make sure that you answer all their questions regarding your product, including things like how much power does it produce? How many years has it been working? Is it still producing electricity as expected? What is its condition like?
It would also be wise if find out what exactly they plan on doing with the solar panels once they receive them since different people might want to use them for different things (e.g.: using them to power their homes, to use it in their business, donating them to charity).
If you are still skeptical about meeting with the potential buyer of your solar panels, you can ask for an upfront payment before selling them. If the buyers refuse your proposal, then there is no need to worry.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not interested in buying your product; it might just be that they cannot afford to pay in advance due to different circumstances at this point.
However, if the person does have enough money to pay you upfront, then there is a big chance that he or she really wants these particular solar panels and will pay accordingly when receiving them.
Even though mutual mistrust between people is very common these days, don’t let it affect you in this situation. You can always ask for some sort of guarantee that the person will actually pay you after receiving your solar panel system, or they can even leave money with a trusted person until both parties agree to transfer funds.
This is known as escrow services and is typically provided for free by third parties which act as middlemen in these sorts of transactions.
How much are old solar panels worth?
If you manage to find someone who wants to buy your used solar panels, then depending on their condition and how many years they have been working (the older they are, the more valuable they become) they can be worth pretty good money.
For example, if the panels that you wish to sell are in good condition (e.g.: they still produce electricity as they should), then you can get up to $3 per watt of energy that they are capable of producing.
However, if your panels are old and not producing the amount of power that they were originally expected to produce, you might not be able to sell them at all or only for very little money.
For example, if the panels won’t produce more than 80% of what they were originally designed to produce, it is probably best if you just keep them since most people will refuse to buy such equipment nowadays.
Selling used solar panel equipment isn’t easy since there aren’t many people out there who want to buy them directly from individuals like yourself. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to sell them if the solar panels are in good working condition. It just means you should think of creative ways to find people who might be interested in buying your products since there are some websites online that allow this sort of thing.
Don’t let the fact that other people don’t want to buy these types of equipment discourage you from trying to make a deal yourself. Most times it’s simply because they aren’t too sure about whether or not these old solar panels will still work after being shipped and installed somewhere else, since sometimes transporting them could damage their components.
However, if you do manage to convince potential buyers that your product is still working properly and can produce large amounts of energy, they will be more than willing to purchase them from you.
If your solar panels aren’t producing electricity as they should or they are actually in a very bad condition, then the best is to just throw them away and buy new ones. There isn’t much point in trying to sell such equipment when there is a big chance that the person buying it won’t even use it since it’s no longer working properly.
However if your product can still produce electricity to some extent or are just slightly damaged, but you still think someone might be interested in purchasing them after meeting with them, then go ahead and try selling them on one of those websites dedicated to this sort of thing. Good luck!