Selling a house with solar panels? Problems & ownership
Solar panels are a great source of renewable, green energy that have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years. They help the environment, they shave money off your electricity bills by providing you with free electricity and reduce your carbon footprint, However, there is a downside to solar panels that people don't talk about as much, and that is how they can affect your house sale.
In this blog post, we will be looking at the advantages and disadvantages of selling your home with solar energy panels installed, how panels will affect your house sale, and how you can sell your solar panel property fast and for free.
How common is solar panel installation?
As of 2020, there were around 970,000 homes across the UK with solar panels fitted, according to government data. This works out to 3.3% of the 29 million homes in the country.
In 2010, the government announced a feed-in tariff (FiT) which allowed those who generated their own energy via solar panels a guaranteed income. This led to a rise in popularity which leasing companies then took advantage of. If you were happy to lease your roof for 25 years, you would get free electricity and then the company would collect the feed-in tariff.
Although the scheme came to an end in 2019, it was replaced with the Smart Export Guarantee in early 2020 which is much less profitable option.
Who owns my roof if I have solar panels?
If you have solar panels, exactly who owns them depends upon whether you have bought them outright, or whether you are leasing your roof instead. If you own the solar panels outright, then you will own the roof. However, if you have leased your roof to a solar energy company, then it will not be owned outright by the homeowner.
Is there a problem with selling a house with solar panels?
When it comes to selling a house with solar panels on a property, there are plenty of advantages, which is why they have increased in popularity over the last couple of years. However, whilst they bring many positives, there are negatives that can hinder the selling process. We take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of selling with panels.
Advantages of selling a property with solar panels
Some of the advantages of owning solar panels outright include:
Reduced carbon footprint
Lower energy bills
An improved energy performance certificate (EPC) rating
Low maintenance costs
Money-making potential through schemes such as the SEG scheme or ongoing FiT payments
Disadvantages of selling a property with solar panels
The majority of companies that lease homeowners' rooves for solar panels have since gone into liquidation. This means that it is incredibly difficult to find out exactly who the panels belong to. This information is critical for transferring future FiT payments to the new owner.
Unable to secure a mortgage
If you are a homeowner who has leased their roof to a solar panel company, then mortgage lenders will be reluctant to lend, so unless you go through a cash buyer, you may spend a long time on the open market.
If you decide to end the lease before it has come to term in order to sell your property, you may find yourself on the receiving end of a rather hefty early exit fee. This fee has the potential to reach tens of thousands of pounds depending on the lease and company you are with.
The owner of panels refuses consent
When it comes to selling your house with solar panels, you will need to get your solicitor to check over the terms of the agreement carefully. Occasionally, the terms of the lease agreement will mean that the homeowner requires the owner of panels consent if they want to sell. Some agreements even go as far as to require consent should the homeowner wish to add an extension to the property. These agreements can put buyers off the property.
Roof space leasing
If the lease you have signed allows the company to extend the 25-year term indefinitely, then this could put people off buying a house with solar panel installation.
Should your solar panels be owned outright, you will still need to navigate your way through the red tape. Selling a house with solar panel installation involves a lot more legal paperwork than one that does not, and this may put potential buyers off.
How do you transfer ownership of solar panels?
If you buying or selling a house where solar panels were fitted, you will need to make sure that the ownership has been transferred correctly. The seller will need to sign a form so it is important that they pass their details along to the buyer. After the transfer has been approved, the buyer will need to send their electricity provider readings from the generation meter once a quarter.
Do you need to declare solar panels on house insurance?
The good news is that most home insurance policies will cover solar panelling as standard, however, it is always a good idea to check first as people have been refused insurance after fitting them. The majority of solar panels will be covered under your building insurance as they are classed as part of the fabric of the house.
Do I need to tell my electricity supplier I have solar panels?
Once you have your solar panels fitted, you will need to register them with a licensed energy supplier. You will need an MCS certificate in order to register for smart export guarantee payments.
Selling a home with solar panels
Yes, you can! The good news is that whilst selling a property with solar energy panels attached is more difficult than selling one without, it can be done! When it comes to selling a home where solar panels were installed, you will have three main options. You can either sell through an estate agent, a property auction, or through a cash buyer. There are pros and cons to each of these methods of selling, which we have broken down for you below:
One of the most popular ways of selling property of any kind is through an estate agent. An estate agent's job is to undertake all of the responsibility of selling your home in return for a commission.
One of the biggest advantages of selling your property through an estate agent is that they will do all of the hard work for you, such as creating a listing for your property and advertising it for you.
However, the downside that comes with selling a property with solar panels installed, is that they can spend a very long time on the open market, as issues with ownership and FiT payments can cause a lot of problems for both buyers and sellers. This is without factoring in the lengthy and time-consuming process of house viewings, which will mean not only fixing any other issues with your property but maintaining it throughout the whole process.
Another downside is that selling through an estate agent is that even after you have to deal with estate agents fees and taken time off work for viewing, you will still have other fees to pay such as legal fees and removal costs. Those extra costs can add up and eat away at the final profit.
If an estate agent is not the route you wish to go down, an increasingly popular choice is through a property auction. A property auction works when you agree on a minimum reserve price and if a buyer meets this price, then your property will sell.
The ideal outcome that you want from a property auction is that multiple buyers are all interested in your property and will each outbid each other, boosting the total of your final profit.
Another positive to selling through an auction is that auctioneers have a lot of experience with selling a broad range of properties, including properties with solar energy panels on the roof.
A downside to selling through a property auction is that it involves a lot of waiting. If you are eager to sell your home then this may not be the best option for you as once you have listed your property for sale, you could have to wait weeks or even months for the next auction to come around.
Even after the auction is complete, you will still have to wait for the paperwork to go through which can take a month or more, once again adding to the delay.
Furthermore, auctioneers also charge a commission to cover the cost of marketing and selling your flat, and this can eat away at the profit made from your property sale.
The third option for selling a home with solar energy panels attached is through a genuine cash buyer. A cash buyer is the best way to guarantee a sale on your house. Unlike other buyers on the open market, a cash buyer would not be put off by the qualities that make a house with solar panels to sell.
Another positive to selling through a genuine cash buyer is that it means a guaranteed sale within a time frame that suits you.
Can I sell my home with solar panels?
Worried about trying to sell on the open market with solar panels on your property? Maybe you are concerned about how the implications of leasing solar panels on your home will affect your sale? Then look no further as here at The Property Buying Company we are here to help!
As we are a sell house fast company, we specialise in fast, hassle-free sales regardless of condition. We have the funds readily available to purchase your home without the need for a loan or a mortgage, so we can sell your house in a timeline that suits you, whether that is as little as 7 days or as far away as 3 months.
We will buy any house in any condition, so whether you have leased your roof to a solar power company, or your solar panel leasing company has gone into liquidation, we can help.
We are also proud members of the regulatory boards, the National Association of Property Buyers, and The Property Ombudsman. We are also rated excellent on Trustpilot with over 1000 reviews.
We only require one quick viewing to make sure that our cash offer is correct, and once you have accepted our offer, that is the amount that you will receive in FULL in your bank.
With over 50 years of combined experience, we will buy any house, in any location, taking all the stress out of the selling process.
Put off by selling a house with solar power panels? Give us a call today, or fill in one of our online valuation forms to receive a no-obligation CASH offer that we could have in your bank in as little as 7 days...