The answer depends upon your system’s ownership structure. The appraisal industry is training its workforce to accommodate the growth of solar nationwide. The Appraisal Institute now trains real estate appraisers on how to appropriately assess the value that solar and other energy efficiency measures add to a home. Make sure to request a real estate professional who is properly trained in evaluating the impact of solar when the time comes for your home to be appraised. If you own the system, it can convey with your home and help boost its resale value. A 2015 study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that, on average, a typically sized residential solar system adds $15,000 to the resale value of a home. The study included an analysis of more than 22,000 home sales across eight states – nearly 4,000 of which contained PV systems. The home sale data spanned 2002 to 2013. A 2019 study by Zillow found solar increased home values by about 4%.
If you lease the system, you may have a few options depending upon your lease agreement. It may be possible to transfer your lease as part of the home sale. Or you may have to pay off your lease before selling your home. You can then include the cost of this pay-off in your home’s sale price.
It’s important to make sure your home’s value includes the value of its solar installation. If you are a licensed real estate appraiser and want to learn how to assess the value of solar in your appraisals, read more about the Appraisal Institute’s Valuation of Sustainable Buildings development program.
For more information, check out our “Selling Your Solar Home Guide.”