This is a big topic for Arizona real estate agents. Solar system salesmen often give a, let’s say, “optimistic” opinion of the value a solar system will add to the value of a house. Salesmen are optimists, aren’t they.

A recent story on dove into the subject of the value of rooftop solar systems.

“I found that owned (solar) systems almost always seem to generate a small premium in the sale price of the home while leased systems do the opposite,” Orr said. “I think it is fair to suggest that an owned solar system can add 4 to 6 percent to the value of a house.”

He said a leased solar power system can detract 3 to 8 percent from the value of a metro Phoenix home.

That second line is the problem.

The solar salesman told the homeowner that leasing a solar system would increase the value of their home and then later when they want to sell the house we, real estate agents, end up being the bad guys who have to tell the homeowner that the reality is that leased systems typically don’t add any value to the home and they can actually hurt the home’s value because many buyers don’t want to take over the payments or they’re worried about the higher costs of future roof replacements. An old roof with a new solar system is a bad combination.