Thinking of selling your rooftop solar home?
Must ask questions of your Realtor Before you sign the listing agreement.
In teaching my Continuing Education class, Solar Myths & Realities, to licensed Realtors, I all too often hear horror stories about Realtors who are clueless about rooftop solar, yet they acquire solar listings and promise the Seller excellent service. What I don’t understand is how can a Realtor claim such service when they are uninformed about rooftop solar? How can they effectively market a home that has it?
All too often in my classes, I hear Realtors (who are working with buyers who want rooftop solar in their next home) complain about listing agents of solar homes who are unable to answer any questions about the advantages of rooftop solar. Any questions about the benefits of rooftop solar all too often is met with a clueless look from the listing agent and an indication that they know nothing about solar nor care to become informed. They just want the home sold with the least possible resistance.
Unfortunately, unbeknown to these Realtors, they are in violation of their Realtors’ Code of Ethics pledge. They are attempting to provide a specialized professional service, the selling of rooftop solar homes, that is outside their field of competence.
Ask the following questions of your intended Realtor BEFORE you list your solar home to test their working knowledge of rooftop solar:
· How would you market the savings from rooftop solar?
· Do you know the differences in the major solar contracts (lease, purchase, prepaid lease, purchase with financing, etc.)?
· Do you know What the bundle of rights is and how it will be transferred over to the new buyer?
· What is the transfer process? What is transferred? How much time does this take?
· Is there a fee for the transfer of the bundle of rights? Who pays?
· After the transfer to the new buyer, is the seller still liable after the deed is recorded?
· What happens if the solar company has gone out of business? What does the Seller need to do?
· Who warrants the panels for repair, maintenance, and loss for the new buyer?
· What if the seller is still in a lease when the home sells?
· Who insures the panels for the buyer?
· How big is the seller’s solar system?
· Does the seller get net-metering? Is net-metering an advantage? How can the buyer find out?
· What happens at the end of the solar contract?
· What is the warranty on the panels for the new buyer?
· Is there a lien on title or a UCC filing? Does this hamper the sale?
These are just some of the questions that your Realtor needs to answer to effectively market a rooftop solar home. As a Realtor who is a Specialist in the Sale of Rooftop Solar Homes, I have found that rooftop solar homes offer a great advantage to the new buyer. It is up to your Realtor to understand these benefits and to broadcast the value of solar on homes to prospective buyers.
Joyce Freese, eXP Realty, Realtor Emeritus, Specializing in the Sale of Solar Homes