You may think that selling a home with solar is the same as selling any house in the Phoenix area, but solar adds a unique dimension to the selling process. As the home seller with a solar array on your home, whether you own the solar outright or are leasing the solar system, there are several tasks you should complete before putting the “for sale” sign in your front yard.
While many of the suggestions are fairly simple and straight-forward advice that I would share with anyone selling a home in the Phoenix area, some items are unique to the solar home selling process and can play a crucial role in ensuring that you receive the best offer in the shortest amount of market time possible.
Top 10 Tips to Selling a Home with Solar in Arizona
- Gather together all of your solar documentation. Solar documentation includes leases, net meetering agreements, sales brochures, system information, and any other documentation you received when you installed solar on your home or signed in connection with solar on your home. It is important to contact the solar leasing company to verify their procedures to transfer the solar lease to the new buyer while your solar system information is helpful in preparing marketing materials and providing the home’s appraiser with detailed system information in order to maximize the system’s added value to the home.
- Gather together all of your energy bills. A crucial part of marketing a home with solar is to explicitly show potential buyers the beneficial savings you have enjoyed since installing solar on your home. Besides having at least a 12 month history of utility bills since you have had solar (in order to demonstrate to the buyer how well the system works throughout the year), it is important to have a 12 month history of utility bills before you had solar installed on the home in order to compare and contrast how well the solar system has saved you money.
- De-clutter. Get rid of the piles of magazines that you no longer read and take down all of the personal mementos that are potential distractions to the hoards of home buyers that will be viewing your home. Remove excessive furniture in rooms to make them feel more open and spacious. Clear out closets and put items that you don’t need into storage.
- Clean the home thoroughly. It is one thing to live in a home and another to sell it. Your home has to be show-ready at any possible moment and giving your home a deep cleaning will help make a good first impression on buyers visiting the home.
- Focus on curb appeal. What is the buyer’s first impression when the pull up to the home? Does the look shabby and run down with weeds growing in the rocks? Is it clean and well maintained? What impressions with that buyer begin forming as they walk up to the front door?
- Fix it. As I stated before, it is one thing to live in a home and another to sell it. Do you have leaky faucets that you have overlooked for years? Do you have doors that stick or wall paper beginning to peel in the bathrooms? As buyers walk through your home, each one of these faults that you have grown to live with will become reasons for buyers to knock down your price or move on to other homes because the home requires too much work. Don’t give a buyer a reason to walk away and the bigger the problem, the bigger of an issue it will be for a buyer, especially if the ceiling has water stains, an appliance doesn’t work, or if a window is boarded up because it is cracked.
- Don’t overlook the other primary variables that a buyer will want from a home. Unfortunately solar is not a primary search variable for home buyers in the Phoenix area, rather, it is a secondary search feature. Buyers tend to focus on price, location and neighborhood, size of the home, schools, and the flow of the home to make the initial determination to visit a home. Solar, along with other factors such as parking, storage, pool, and other features and amenities in a home, become additional features that will differentiate your home from the rest of the competition. Be sure to emphasize other factors that will help a buyer in their decision process including other features, amenities, upgrades, and perks that your home has to offer.
- Price it effectively. Price is one of the top three variables that will determine if a buyer even visits your home (location and size are the other two). Price it according to the market, not what you feel it is worth. In previous years, there have been times when pricing above market were realistic while during the market downturn, prices were falling like bricks just to attract a buyer through the home.
- Have an effective marketing plan. While there are many similarities to selling a home with solar to the average, run-of-the-mill home in the neighborhood, there should be an additional level of marketing the solar benefits of the home. Failure to illustrate the benefits of solar can result in longer marketing times and lower offer prices by buyers.
- Call the Solar Home Broker at 480-888-1234.