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Arizona Solar Home Information

Solar is continuing to grow in popularity in the greater Phoenix area. In fact, the number of homes adding solar systems to their homes has almost doubled each year since 2009. Financing and lease programs exist today that allow almost anyone to install a solar system on their home. Unfortunately, many real estate agents do not fully understand the benefits that solar systems provide to homeowners and they are not knowledgeable in how to handle the sale and/or purchase of a home with a solar system. Because of the lack of knowledge and understanding, many real estate agents have heard of or have had a negative experience in the sale/purchase of a home that has solar. These negative experiences have overpowered the benefits that solar brings to a home. Solar is not a negative feature of a home. In fact, it is a huge positive because it reduces the price homeowners pay for electricity and is good for our environment. However, the sale/purchase of the home must be handled in the proper way in order to avoid the pitfalls that cause negative experiences.

There are a few key elements in the sale/purchase of a solar home that a real estate agent must know how to handle in order to effectively sell a home with solar while avoiding delays and the potential loss of a buyer.

  • Marketing the solar home to potential buyers
  • Pricing the home appropriately
  • Proper solar disclosures
  • Handling solar inspections
  • Mortgage financing for solar homes
  • Transferring the solar lease

With my previous experience in the solar industry as well as being a licensed REALTOR you can be sure you have a competent and qualified person working for you. I have a passion for both solar and real estate and want to help sell your home for the best price, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of hassle. Please contact me today at 623-640-6546 for an appointment to discuss selling your solar home.


Marketing Your Solar Home

When a realtor receives their license from the Arizona Department of Real Estate they are given no training or information on solar systems or how to sell a home with solar. Proper marketing techniques are imperative to the sale of any home, however marketing a home with solar must be done a little differently in order to showcase to potential buyers the benefit of the solar system. Most agents simply state in the listing that the home has solar (leased or owned) and put a sign rider in the front yard. What does that tell the prospective buyer? Pretty much nothing, other than that the home has a solar system. The benefits of the solar system must be demonstrated and marketed in a way that will allow potential buyers to understand and appreciate the value the solar system offers and allow that to differentiate your home from other homes on the market.


Pricing Your Solar Home

Solar photovoltaic (electric) systems can potentially add thousands in additional value to a home. While most real estate agents will tell you that a leased solar system does not add value to a home, I disagree. A leased solar system does not necessarily add “appraised value” to the home, however I believe that it does add overall value to the home as an attractive selling feature. This feature must be marketed in the correct fashion in order to show the value of the solar to a prospective buyer. If marketed properly it is possible to sell a home with a leased solar system at a slightly higher price than a home without a solar system. Understanding the market trends and knowing what similar homes in your area are selling for will help in determining what price you should list your home for.

Disclosures for Solar Homes

It is imperative that the correct disclosures be made when listing a home with solar. Proper disclosures help to relieve sellers of future liability with the property as well as notify potential buyers up front that there may be additional qualifications required if the system is leased. Current real estate purchase contracts do not provide for a requirement of the buyer to assume the solar lease if there is one. A leased solar system must be disclosed, even if it is prepaid. You should provide disclaimers stating that past performance is not a guarantee for future solar performance, and include a contingency in the purchase contract that the buyer must be willing and able to assume the lease.

Solar Home Inspections

Solar system inspections are just as important as general home inspections, termite inspections, or pool inspections. As a buyer and/or seller you should know the current condition of the solar system and its components. Is it performing properly? What is the type of solar equipment installed? What size is the solar system? Was it installed properly? An inspection can answer these questions and help limit personal liability for a systems performance.
Mortgage Financing for Solar Homes
Depending if the solar system on your home is leased or owned, mortgage lenders may have guidelines that could affect the buyer’s ability to purchase your solar home. Be sure your real estate agent knows how conventional, FHA, and VA guidelines affect the sale of a home with solar. This will help avoid potential obstacles that could hinder and/or delay the sale of the solar home.

Transferring the Solar Lease

 Many real estate agents are simply not knowledgeable about the process to transfer a solar lease to a new homeowner or the options a seller has with the leasing company when they decide to sell their home. Disclosing a solar lease in the purchase contract as well as providing a buyer with the proper lease documentation during the inspection period is crucial. Although most solar leasing companies allow a homeowner to buyout the lease with the sale of the home, most homeowners would prefer to transfer the lease to the buyer to avoid the costly buyout option. The buyer must be notified of what is required to assume the lease and understand what they are signing up for in the beginning. This will help avoid last minute curveballs that would prevent/delay the closing.


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Tara Rutkowski   |   623-640-6546   |   tara@rutkowskihomes.com
Realty One Group   |   Goodyear Office   |   2950 N. Litchfield Rd   |   Goodyear, AZ
Copyright © 2015. Tara Rutkowski, All Rights Reserved

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