Can You Sell A Home With a Bad Roof? (6 Helpful Tips)

roof inspection 5 lg

A bad roof is not the worst thing that can happen to a house, but you can bet your money that the general condition of your roof at the time of sale will affect the value of your home when it comes down to appraisal.

You can sell a home with a bad roof, but the estimated cost for the buyer to repair or replace a bad roof will mostly fall on the seller in the form of a buyer’s credit or a loss in appraised value. It is also best if minor repairs and roof cleaning are done to enable the seller to get the best possible value.

Does a poor roof mean it’s old? A poor roof portrays itself as old. It can be old regarding the number of years it has existed or appears old in terms of neglect as far as maintenance is concerned. A bad roof will remain a bad roof.

What Qualifies As A Bad Roof?

Apart from the roof acting as the face value of a house and portraying its beauty, it offers protection and security to its occupants.

Is a home with a bad roof inhabitable? Having a poor roof does not necessarily mean that the house is uninhabitable, but it depends on the extent of damage the roof has sustained.

As new as it could be, a roof will finally fall victim to normal wear and tear. But it is also well understood that extreme weather conditions damage roofs and deteriorate faster, especially if they are not well maintained. 

Here is a list of roof conditions that will make a roof to be listed as bad;

  • Rusted flashings
  • Curled shingles
  • Cracked shingles
  • Missing shingles
  • Displaced shingles
  • Growth of moss on the roofing
  • Broken shingles

Having a problematic roof does not stay at that, but it will extend its damage and cause damages in other home areas. Likely scenarios are;

  • Moisture and growth of molds inside the attic brought about by rainwater that leaks through the damaged roof.
  • Stained and damaged ceilings that at the end of the day may require replacing. 
  • Increase in utility bills because the roofing is now poorly insulated hence a higher consumption of energy.

Does A Roof Mean That Much During A Home Sale?

As you weigh your options concerning the condition of your home’s poor roof in the wake of a sale, this question will keep coming to you, and you will be wondering whether it is possible to sell your home in its bad condition. 

Well, it is possible to sell your home with its poor roof, but when you announce that your home is up for sale, the appraiser will look at various factors that will go a long way in determining the amount you will place as your asking price and the amount the home will fetch you in the long run:

These factors are;

  1. The age of your home/roof
  2. The amount of work you have put into it to keep it in shape
  3. The type of roofing material installed
  4. Any upgrade/s
  5. Conditions of other homes in the neighborhood

The Age Factor

A home is an asset, not just a structure but also the land built on it. An asset gains in value over time, and so is the home with a good roof will.

Generally, a roof should last between 30-50 years; after that, it will be deemed too old and thus needing replacement. The number of years your roof has been in place is likely to affect the current value of your home.

Maintenance And General Upkeep

Making sure that the roof is inspected after a terrible wave of a storm and fixing any small or minor damages will save you a lot of trouble.

The roof’s condition over the years depends on the amount of work you put into it to keep your roof neat and in shape.

A roof is generally prone to extreme weather and climatic conditions. Too much sun fades the colors and dries out wooden parts while storms rakes havoc and may displace shingles, leading to water dripping inside the house.

Roofing Material

There is a big difference between the value and price of a slate roof and a home whose roof is made of asphalt roofing material.

The type of roofing material installed dictates the number of years the roof will withstand any stress inflicted by the weather conditions, the number of repairs the roof will require to keep it in shape, and the estimated amount of money it will cost to replace a bad roof.

It is because superior roofing materials cost more to replace as compared to other roofing materials.


Home property and real estate are obsessed with energy efficiency, and the secret generally lies on the roof. 

Roofing upgrades directly translate to better air conditioning and lower energy consumption. The ability for a roof to alleviate too much heat during hot seasons and trap heat from escaping the confines of a home during colder seasons enables a homeowner to fetch more money during a sale.

Home improvements and upgrades include;

  • Solar systems.
  • Superior Insulations.
  • Reflective roofing colors etc.


What kind of a neighbor are you? If you are the “don’t care attitude” kind of neighbor, then you will probably be so unpopular.

No homeowner will appreciate a neighbor who does not care for their property while everybody else cares for and maintains their homes.

Having a badly maintained home as your neighbor means that their poorly cared for homes will negatively affect the worth and value of your own home.

Do I Need To Replace Roof Before Selling House?

It is common for a homeowner to be conflicted between fixing the roof before putting the home on sale and selling it as it is. It is especially when lack of money for roof maintenance is the factor.

It is a question surrounding the condition of the roof versus the value of the home. The truth of the matter is that a lack of roof maintenance will hugely affect the selling price.

Replacing a roof is quite expensive, just like other utilities around the home like electricity, air conditioning, plus the water and sewerage system.

While replacing a poor roof with a new one could mean spending a substantial amount of money, selling off the property as it is could also fetch you too little as compared to the home’s actual value. The buyer will be entitled to a discount because s/he will need to work on the poor roof if they buy it.

To make it easy deciding what action to take, it will help if you consider the extent of damage you are facing;

  • Minor damages.
  • Major damages.
Minor DamagesMajor Damages
A few curled shinglesRusted flashing in a vital part of the roof
One or two missing shinglesWidespread curled shingles on different parts of the roofing
Displaced shingles in one areaCracked shingles as they dry out as a result of too much sun
A few broken shinglesMissing shingles on large surface areas
Minor algae stains on roof shinglesDisplaced shingles in various places
Growth of moss on the roof because rainwater is not draining well
Several broken shingles on different faces of the roof

Minor damages are damages that require less in terms of time and money to replace or repair them. As far as minor damages are concerned, it is always best if the seller can do partial maintenance to get the full amount of the value of your home.

On the other hand, major roof damages are usually a result of intentional avoidance of minor roof repairs or damages that eventually lead to major repairs. Either that or they are damages brought about by a hurricane.

The above damages and in larger proportions are a big mess and qualifies as severe roof damages. 

These amounts of damage may require the services of a roofer who will quantify and set an estimate of the amount of replacement the roof requires and the amount of money the homeowner will probably need to incur to have the roof as good as possible new.

The estimated amount the roofer will come up with will help the seller decide whether to repair the roof or not.

If the amount is too high, the seller might consider selling it and reconcile with the amount he will fetch against the amount he would have fetched had he made the necessary maintenance and replacements.

Can You Sell A House With A Bad Roof?

It will prove difficult to try and hide a bad roof from a potential buyer during a home sale, but there are steps you can take to make your bad roof look just a little bit less bad.

  1. Clean the roof.
  2. Hire a home inspector.
  3. Enlist the services of an excellent appraiser.

Cleaning The Roof

There is nothing as good as a clean and tidy place. Cleanliness is next to godliness, they say.

Having a bad roof is bad enough, and adding a dirty one on top of a bad one is worse, and there is no excuse for having a dirty one even when your roof is bad.

A dirty roof signifies that you generally do not care about the property or the amount it will fetch. To rubbish this impression from the mind of a potential buyer, it will be best if you do a little cleaning, like removing any branches from your rooftop and clear any debris that has accumulated up there. These include cleaning the gutters to enable better water drainage.

Get a Certified Roof Inspection

A roof inspection is part of a home’s maintenance services. During the home visit, the roof inspector will ascertain where and whether repairs are needed.

A roof inspection from a roofing contractor can provide you with a roof certification that documents the roof’s condition and estimates the remaining life. Home insurance companies and lenders may require a roof certification if the roof is over 15 years old.

A roof certification can assure buyers the roof will last at least 2 years which meets HUD guidelines.

You can read more on roof certifications at Roof Certification Inspection Explained (Do You Need One?)

Hiring An Excellent Appraiser

A good salesman is the same as a good auctioneer. A person with excellent marketing skills will charm a potential customer and get the best out of an otherwise bad situation.

Your intention as a seller is to get the very best out of your home investment, and a good appraiser might be able to do just that.

Does Seller Pay For New Roof?

When a roof is bad, who between the seller and the buyer pays for it? 

Well, the seller is generally responsible for a bad roof, minor or major. A seller and agent will have factored in the estimated amount of money a bad roof will cost on their part and might try to hide such information from a potential buyer.

In such a scenario, it will be in the interest of the buyer if they involve their inspector and have the roof professionally certified so that they will be able to better negotiate the maintenance amount with the seller before drawing up a sales agreement where the seller agrees to cater for maintenance by slashing the maintenance amount from their sale money.

Should You Buy A House With A Bad Roof?

Buying a house with a bad roof definitely gives inconveniences on your part. Mainly, people wanted to buy a house that has everything they need and is ready to be occupied. 

What most sellers do is that they lower the price for the property with defects or bad roofing. That will depend on your decision if you are willing to pay more for a good roof or stick to the budget with roofing problems. 

There are several ups and downs of buying a home with a bad roof ranging from the extent of damage to the type of roofing material used.

But if the rest of the house is still in the right condition and the damage on the roof is something you are able and willing to take up, then you are good to go.

It is even possible to sometimes get the best deal out of a house that needs repairs, repair it and sell it off again at a more lucrative amount.

That is actually what most home brokers do to earn a living.

Final Thought

The biggest secret for every homeowner who plans to dispose of their property in the future is to keep up with regular maintenance and repairs around the home, especially the upkeep of the roof.

A good roof can always affect the price of your property and also your house value. 

A bad and neglected roof will negatively affect the value of a property. Whereas a new or well cared for roof generally translates that the rest of the property is well cared for, a bad roof could also mean that the property might require tons of repair work in other areas.


Should You Buy a House With Roof Damage? The Surprising Benefits—and Challenges

Should I Buy a Home that Requires a Roof Replacement?

Selling a House With a Bad Roof

6 Home-Buying Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore (And What To Do About Them)


Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.