Thinking back on when you first sold or bought your home, how did you decide on who you would trust to take you through this experience? Was it from a family/friend referral, the internet, open house, or a complete stranger you met randomly somewhere? Hopefully, the decision made was the right one and if you did your homework, then we are happy that it all worked out in the end. If not, then hopefully this blog can aid you in some way.
Below are some tips/characteristics when searching for someone to sell your home because hiring a good listing agent is crucial to your entire experience as a home seller:
Experienced and educated with a proven track record
Hire someone that will communicate effectively with you and will give good advice
Has extensive knowledge of your neighborhood
A good negotiator to sell your home for the best possible price and as quickly as possible
Someone with a strategic marketing plan (ask to see what that consists of: how many websites will have your property’s info, how many open houses to be held)
Someone you can TRUST
You can check us off for all of the above and if chosen to be your Listing Agent, we at the Iseley & Walsh Group, are very involved with preparing your home for sale and marketing the property. Most importantly, we value your home just as much as you do and will always provide a comprehensive market analysis.
We want to give you the best experience from beginning to end. Not only are we here to do business, but we are here to build a long lasting relationship.
You don’t have to look very far to find information on solar panels. There are all types of products and low financing options that guarantee to save you money. The average home owner may see solar panels as a way to avoid the ever increasing price of energy. I am not here to tell you solar panels are or are not a good investment. As a Realtor, I am here to give you my professional, unbiased opinion on solar panels in the housing market and how they effect sellers.
How do solar panels work? Solar panels are typically sold on a long-term lease of 20 years with a monthly payment. In turn, the solar company will use the energy captured by the panels to eliminate your monthly energy bill from your existing energy company. If you sign up for a monthly lease of $150 and your typical energy bill is $200 a month, then you save $50/month or $600/year. Multiply that over the term of the lease and you just saved $12,000. Sounds great, right? Not so fast… Remember, you signed a 20 year lease. You are bound to the payments of the long-term contract and based on the example above that would be $36,000. What happens if you decide to move? What happens if technology advances and there are cheaper alternatives?
What happens if I want to sell my home and I have a long-term lease on the solar panels? If you do want to sell your home, the potential buyer will have to take over the solar panel lease in order to purchase it. OR the new owners could purchase the home without taking over the lease, leaving you responsible for the payments even after you moved out. At first glance, the monthly savings look great and the innovative technology is a must, but make sure you are familiar with the long term ramifications.
What could the future hold? Pretend it is the year 2024. You own a home and purchased solar panels 10 years ago. You are halfway through your lease. In that time, technology has advanced and we can capture the same amount of energy on one panel as you can with the 20 rusty panels currently on your roof. In addition, the cost in the solar panel market is a monthly payment of $40 a month. Now you want to sell your home. When you list your home, interested buyers are notified that the home is attached to a 20 year solar lease with 10 more years remaining. Why would the buyer take over a lease at $150 a month when they can get it at $40 a month? Why have 20 solar panels on their home when they could have one? Why spend more for old technology? These are all valid questions that will cause problems in your future sell.
Let’s say you don’t plan on selling in the next 20 years. My initial response would be: 20 years is a long time. Your plan today may not be your plan tomorrow. My second response would be: keep in mind you are leasing solar panels. Once your 20 years is up, you still won’t own them. But you have the option of forking up about $5,000 to buy them at their market value. Another extra expense…and to add insult to injury, any repairs that need to be done to the solar panels during your lease will be at your own expense. The hidden costs are everywhere.
Know the facts before you decide to lease or buy. Ask yourself one question. Is saving $50 a month worth the long term issues? You may save on the front end, but if you ever decide to move, it will likely cost you. In my professional opinion, if you want to go the solar panel route, purchase them or avoid them all together. Otherwise, your solar panel leasing agreement could be a disaster when it comes time to sell.
Feel free to contact me directly for some personal experiences with solar panels in the housing market.