Selling a home with leased solar panels is challenging because buyers are traditionally wary of taking over such leases. Here are some of the reasons buyers fear such houses:
The House May Be Difficult To Resell
Most homebuyers don't intend to own their homes forever. Even those who don't have concrete plans to resell their houses in the future don't want to buy a home they can't resell easily; they want a way out in case they want to sell the properties. Unfortunately, there is a common belief, even among those who don't have sufficient reasons for it, that selling real estate with a leased solar system is difficult. Therefore, potential buyers may fear that the house may be difficult to resell.
The Technology May Become Obsolete
Solar leases run for decades; they typically run for 20 to 25 years. This is a long time in the technology industry; a lot of things can change between now and the next decade. Some homebuyers fear that leasing a solar system that has been around for a decade and whose lease still has over ten years to run is dangerous because the technology may be obsolete before the end of the lease.
It Stretches the Debt-to-Income Ratio Further
When a homebuyer agrees to inherit a solar lease, the outstanding lease is likely to be treated as additional debt by their mortgage financier. This may not be a problem for buyers with excellent debt-to-income ratios, but it can be challenging for a buyer who just qualified for their mortgage. In fact, it may jeopardize the mortgage application of such a homebuyer. This adds an extra layer of complexity to the purchase because the buyer has to qualify both for the mortgage and the solar lease to buy the house and assume the lease.
Buyers Don't Want More Monthly Payments
Lastly, homebuyers who don't want to be saddled with more monthly payments may prefer not to inherit your solar lease. Don't forget that apart from their mortgage payments, the buyer will have other regular expenses to take care off such as home insurance premiums, utility bills, HOA fees (if applicable), among others. Adding solar lease payments to the mix may not work for some people.
The good news is that transferring a solar lease from one homeowner to another is usually not a problem. If you are selling such a property, consult a real estate agent to help you market your property.