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Solar panels make your house more attractive to buyers

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 4 October 2012 at 6:52 pm

Solar panels are one of the most desirable 'deal-sealers' for people buying a new house according to new research. Logic says that solar panels should add value to a property, especially as most installations currently come with 20 or more years of feed-in tariff income attached. However, research on the subject is very thin on the ground.

New research by mortgage provider ING Direct has found that solar panels are one of the three biggest influencers that make a difference when people are deciding whether to buy a property or not. These are the things that people don't think are essential, but would encourage them to buy if they were wavering. The other two are weekly bin collections and a satellite TV connection. Also important are greenhouses, walk-in wardrobes and a good 3G signal.

Four in 10 people thought solar panels are the most desirable extra on a home. Richard Doe, the chief executive of ING Direct, said: “In today’s housing market you often have to compete against your neighbours to make that sale. “Price is obviously king, but knowing and promoting ‘deal-sealers’ can give you that vital competitive edge.”


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3 comments - read them below or add one


JeremyOlmComment left on: 13 September 2013 at 8:52 am

The main concern has definitely got to be hiring the correct estate agent to make your house sell with a good price. You can have solar panels fixed onto the roofs but if your estate agent fails to promote this additional feature in the correct and attractive manner, then it would all be just wasted efforts. That is why you need to hold prior discussions with your estate agents to ensure they know what your deal-sealers are and how to promote them thoroughly to the potential buyers when they come for the actual viewing.

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Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 13 April 2013 at 1:37 pm

Hi @kve

I'm not surprised that the estate agent didn't add the cost of the installation to the valuation. There are many improvements you can make to a house which won't increase the value by the cost of intallation. The future income, and the lower electricity bills, are both real benefits, adding real value and it's a pity that only one of the agents recognised that.

This is still early days of solar on homes, so the benefits haven't filtered down to all estate agents or to buyers. There's not much research on what value solar panels add, but a survey last year found that if people are comparing two similar homes and one has solar panels, it would make the difference.

You would be allowed to remove the panels and install them on your new property, but you would lose the feed-in tariff, as they would then be considered second hand, and not eligible. So it's probably worth educating whichever agent is selling your house about the benefits, and hope they will make it more attractive.

Unless you installed recently, you'll be nicely surprised at how far the prices have fallen in the past year, and may be tempted to install more at your new place.

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kveComment left on: 13 April 2013 at 12:03 pm

Two estate agents have recently valued my property. One thought our solar panels added no value to the property at all. The second was interested but only in terms of the future income generation and did not add the full installation costs to his valuation.

Would we be allowed to remove the panels and install them on our new property and would we continue to receive the same FIT rate?

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