Key Players Helping You Transfer Your Solar Lease
During the solar lease transfer, there are several key players that are involved in helping you and the buyer transfer the solar lease and close on the sale of your home in Phoenix:
Listing Agent (LA)
For you as the seller, the real estate agent that you hire to sell your Phoenix home is your key point person throughout this process. As stated in other sections, your real estate agent should be knowledgeable in lease transfers, how to market your solar, and how to protect you during contract negotiations, especially given that you are expecting the buyer to assume your solar lease. A great resource for questions to ask a listing agent before you hire them can be found at:
Buyers Agent (BA)
More likely than not, your home buyer will have a real estate agent representing them throughout the purchase of your home. It is their job to be an advocate for the buyer’s interests. It is also likely that the buyer’s agent will have little to no experience dealing with a solar lease transfer, handling contract addenda requiring the lease transfer in the purchase contract of the home, or even know the criteria that the buyer must satisfy in order to qualify for the lease transfer. The buyer’s agent is a key person that will directly influence the success of the lease transfer since they have a lot of influence over the buyer. Your listing agent should have a plan to educate the buyer’s agent in order to bring them up to speed about the requirements and steps involved in the lease transfer. If your listing agent does not have a plan, here’s to hoping that all goes well for you.
Mortgage Lender (ML)
In roughly 85% of all of the solar home sales in the Phoenix area, the home buyer financed the purchase of the solar home using conventional or government backed mortgages. With any mortgage, there is a mortgage lender involved in originating and funding the home loan. Until recently, the mortgage lender should not require the buyer to use the solar lease payment in their qualifying calculations. Conventional loans, VA mortgage and FHA insured loans have specifically stated in their mortgage qualifying guidelines that a solar lease payment is not to be used against the buyer’s ability to qualify for a home loan. However, there are a few lenders out there that may require the buyer to calculate the solar lease payment into their mortgage qualifying criteria. Your listing agent should be asking that question.
Escrow Agent (EA)
The escrow agent is the person hired by both the buyer and the seller (usually selected by the buyer) that helps them execute the purchase contract and oversees the actual transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer. The EA is suppose to be an independent, neutral third party and is usually the person that submits the final transfer paperwork to the solar leasing company after it has been signed by both the buyer and the seller.
Solar Leasing Company (SLC)
The solar leasing company is the entity that owns your solar lease, where you send your monthly solar lease payments, and is responsible for approving or denying the transfer of the solar lease from you to the buyer. For many homeowners in the Phoenix area, this would be SolarCity/Tesla, Vivint Solar, SunRun, etc.
Selling a Home with a Solar Lease: