When people begin to prepare their home for sale, they often start by making property improvements in hopes of enticing buyers. One of the many improvements that some people consider when they're trying to sell their home is installation of solar panels. If you're a homeowner thinking about selling your property in the next few months and you'd like to install solar panels, it's important to know whether or not this is a valuable addition to your property and what you can do to maximize the ROI from the installation.
The Value Of Solar Panels
Solar panels can vary in their value, depending on the positioning of the house, the amount of shade on the property and the amount of energy the household consumes. In general, it is believed that solar panels add approximately 3 to 4 percent to the value of your home. Some factors that can affect the true value of solar panels include:
- Shade. Shade on the property can reduce the amount of sun exposure that solar panels get. If your property is heavily shaded, solar panels may be worth less than solar panels added to a house that gets significant sun.
- Direction of the roof. North facing and east facing rooftops get less sun than western facing and southern facing rooftops. This will impact the amount of energy that your solar panels can produce.
- Local weather patterns. Solar panels in areas that get more sun during the course of a normal day are more profitable than solar panels in cloudy, rainy areas.
When Should You Add Solar Panels?
Homeowners who are thinking about adding solar panels to their roof should do so many months before listing their house for sale. Once the solar panels are up on the roof, it can take several months to align the solar panels with the local power grid and start reaping the full benefits of the panels.
Once the solar panels are installed and homeowners start to see the benefits of the installation, this makes it easier to answer home buyer questions about the cost savings and functionality of the panels.
Is Solar Power a Good Fit For Your Home?
Solar in Canada is absolutely possible and desirable. However, not every home will produce the same results with a solar installation. A few of the characteristics that will tell whether you should have solar on your home:
- Availability of south-facing roof surfaces. The more south-facing surfaces available, the better your solar energy production will be. The rule of thumb is that the roof's orientation should be under 40 degrees in either direction from due south.
- Minimal levels of shade. A yard with a lot of trees is not a good fit for a solar installation. Even small amounts of sun obstruction can significantly reduce the performance of solar panels.
- Wide, unobstructed areas. Does your house have a lot of gables and other features that could get in the way of solar panels? Is the roof at a steep angle? These can make it harder to add a good-sized solar installation to the home.
- A consistently high electric bill. If your electric bill goes up and down throughout the year, your savings will not be consistent and your payback on solar could take longer. Assess whether you are spending enough to make the investment worth it.
Attract Buyers With Your Solar Panels
Many buyers are interested in making their new home as eco-friendly as possible. Telling buyers about your solar panels can help ensure that the home will sell quickly and for as much money as possible. These tips will help you use solar panels to your advantage:
- Include pictures of the solar panels in the listing when the house is purchased.
- Mention that the home has green features in the listing.
- Discuss the money saved from monthly utility bills after the solar panel installation.
- Put together a short booklet to provide information about the solar panels for buyers who come to see the property.
- Work with a real estate agent who has sold eco-friendly homes in the past.
If the solar panels are leased, it's also important to find out as much as possible about the transfer of solar panels to a new owner. Having this information can help make the transition from one homeowner to another a smoother experience.
Contact a Real Estate Professional
An experienced real estate professional can help you sell your home with solar panels, and can also help you use your solar panels to your advantage. To get started selling your home, whether you own a home in South Calgary or across the city, contact an experienced and reputable real estate professional in your area today.