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Residential Real Estate Sellers

What Happens if I Sell a House With Solar Panels?

By February 10, 2022August 15th, 2023No Comments

Solar panels are a big decision. 

While they do offer many Illinois households long-term benefits like cheaper electricity bills and less use of fossil fuels, you do have to commit to the look and consider the process of making payments on the panels. 

If you’re planning on selling your house, it’s especially important to weigh the pros and cons of getting solar panels for your home.

For some Buyers, it can be a selling point, but for the Seller, it can potentially make things more difficult. Diamond Real Estate Law can help you navigate through real estate issues such as selling with solar panels. Read on to learn why this is such a complicated issue.

Why Should I Consider Solar Panels When Selling My Illinois Home?

One of the main points you need to consider if you are selling your house but still paying for your solar panels, is that you may have to pay them off completely at the closing. 

Not understanding this has caused Sellers to:

  • walk away from the closing with less money;
  • add costs to their closing (instead of getting money back); or
  • risk getting sued by the Buyer by having to cancel the deal or change it to a short sale.

How Solar Panel Payment Problems Happen

Many companies that provide solar panels have payment plans where you make a low monthly payment and enjoy the lower utility bills. Unfortunately, the fine print of some agreements allows a lien to be placed on the solar panels and require full payment in closing.  

Some companies will allow you to assign the payment plan/agreement to a Buyer, but the Buyer usually has to be “approved” by the company. This usually means that they will need to apply for the loan and be approved. Some companies even charge a fee for assigning the loan.

What Should a Seller Do if Their House has Solar Panels?

If your house does have solar panels and you’re planning on selling, sit down with your real estate attorney and take a look at the agreement you signed with the solar panel company to read the fine print. 

In the event that the agreement determines you have to pay off the rest of the panels at the time of the closing, and you would prefer not to do so, preface to your Buyers that the solar panel payments are included in the buying of the home. 

You will, at that point, have to contact the company to check if your Buyer needs to be approved, and then get them approved to make payments.

Should I Get Solar Panels in Illinois? Pros and Cons

So, is it really worth it to get solar panels for a home, especially if you’re planning on selling? If you’re planning to sell soon, then it may not be the best idea to deal with the hassle. 

However, if you’re looking to sell in the future, solar panels can be an added feature that attracts a certain caliber of Buyer. Solar panels are an investment that you have to commit to, and if you’re ready for that commitment and understand in your contract what the terms will be before you sign, then go for it!

At the end of the day, if you have solar panels, make sure you know what the deal is and how much is due when you sell. This will avoid an unpleasant closing table surprise, like a smaller check, having to do a short sale, or even having the Buyer sue you.

Contact an Illinois real estate lawyer

At Diamond Real Estate Law, our experienced real estate lawyers have decades of experience helping clients buy homes in McHenry County, Illinois. We can help you avoid these easy to make mistakes and facilitate the best purchase for yourself and your family. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.


DISCLAIMER: Any information contained herein is solely for informational purposes. While it is important that you educate yourself, nothing herein should be construed as legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. For specific questions, [I][We] always urge you to contact a local attorney for advice pertaining to your specific legal needs.

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