As millions of homeowners install solar over the next decade, how will they recoup their investment when they sell their homes?
Today sellers try, but are unable to quantify and promote the dollar value and other benefits of solar. Many simply use the word “solar” in listings, failing to distinguish systems by size, productivity, and financial return. This significantly undersells the benefits of systems that homeowners have spent tens of thousands of dollars to install. It also deprives buyers of the information they need to appropriately price in the value of solar to their bids.
Many studies show that buyers are interested in solar homes and are willing to pay a premium to save money on their electric bills – but today the information they need is not available at time of sale.
This problem also impedes homeowners considering a new solar system purchase. If potential solar customers knew up front they could monetize their investments when they eventually sell, many more would make the initial decision to go solar.
We need a CarFax for Solar – a simple system that can be used by sellers to communicate the value of their system to potential buyers. Sellers would input actual system data online and for a fee, would download marketing materials to show buyers forecasted earnings, value and environmental benefits. For an additional fee, an independent solar expert could visit the home to get the system 'Certified'. Solar system marketers could use the system to better estimate re-sale value during the selling process.
By providing a clearer link between individual solar systems and increased home re-sale value, CarFax for Solar can remove a major barrier for homeowners considering the installation of solar versus other competing home investment priorities.