Frequently Asked Questions
What if the buyer doesn’t have a credit score high enough to qualify for the solar lease transfer?
Most solar leasing companies have contingencies in place to give a buyer every opportunity to assume and take over the solar lease. In some cases, a one-time credit fee is charged, typically around $250, to waive the credit requirement. Generally speaking, if the buyer can qualify for a home loan to purchase the home, the buyer should qualify to take over the solar lease.
What if the solar lease transfer holds up the sale of my home?
It shouldn’t. If your listing agent is on top of the 10 steps involved in the solar lease and proactive in their actions, there should not be any reason for a delay in closing (unless you opted for a 15 day closing when the solar leasing company needs a minimum of 30 days to complete the transfer).
If the solar lease has been prepaid, does the buyer still need to transfer the solar lease?
Yes. Within the solar lease, there still are rights and obligations that the buyer will want, such as continued system maintenance or the power production guarantee for example, as well as you would want to be released from any potential liability that could arise if the buyer abused or damaged the system.
The buyer wants me to buyout the solar lease instead of assuming the solar lease. Can I do that?
In most cases, yes. Typically the solar leasing company will require you to make the remaining lease payments owed for the remainder of the lease contract. Some of the solar leasing companies will encourage you to add that cost onto the price of your home. However, a prepaid solar lease will not add value to your property and in this day and age, most home buyers are savvy enough to know if your home price is out of line with the rest of the real estate market. Often times, that $10,000+ cost to prepay the solar lease is a price too high to pay either by the buyer or the seller.
The buyer does not want my solar. Can I transfer the solar system to my next home?
Yes and no. While many solar leases have provision that allow for the system to transfer to your next home, there may be costs and liability issues that could preclude you from doing so. First, and most importantly, you may not be eligible for the current electric rate plan on your next home. You may be subject to higher rates and not benefit from the advantages of net metering. Second, there are transfer costs associated with the move of the system. Do you have to pay to remove and reinstall the system? Who pays for the new permits required to install the system? Third, the next home may not be ideal for the solar system. Will the next home need the same size system that you currently have? Will the new roof support the solar system? Fourth, will the buyer be happy with the repairs to the roof after the system is removed? While they solar leasing company should be liable for the repair of the roof, are there any long-term liability issues that could come up after the initial 2 year roof warranty that they provide?
Selling a Home with a Solar Lease: