Does The Seller Have To Replace The Roof? Read This First

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Any piece of real estate relies so much on aesthetics. The first thing a prospective buyer notices is the exterior which includes the roof. The roof highlights your home design, and it should be in perfect condition. So does the seller have to replace the roof? Read this first.

As a seller, you need to change the roof if need be. You could be selling an older house that requires some repairs or a new roof installation. On the other hand, you might be selling a home that’s a few years old. The state of the roof will determine the course of action. If the roof is worn out, a replacement is imminent—if not, you can do some simple repairs.

Keep in mind that even minimal repairs cost money. That said, let’s look at some of the reasons that would make you replace a roof.

Do You Need To Replace Your Roof Before You Sell Your Home?

You need to replace your roof before you sell your home if it has obvious damage, which would lead to a decrease in your home’s value. The key factors you need to consider are the cost and the condition of the roof.

Is a new roof installation worth the investment? You need to make money from your sale.

Even so, each choice can increase or decrease the value of your home, depending on the circumstances. The cost of a new roof installation ranges between $7500 and $25,000.

Of course, the cost might also go lower than the base pricing or higher than the limit. The driving factor is the type of material used—for instance, the pricing on asphalt shingles is varied. In upscale markets, homeowners tend to spend on higher-quality material.

In contrast, average folks might spend on inexpensive products. Furthermore, a new slate roofing could go up to $100,000.

Secondly, you need to consider your location. When your home is in a high potential neighborhood, buyers are willing to spend more on quality—as such, replacing a roof will increase the value of your home.

Replacing a roof before the listing is not a requirement. And this does not only apply to roofs; it can be anything within your home, including windows, the heating system, plumbing, etc.

Usually, what happens is that the seller needs to disclose the condition of the various elements of the home. Moreover, the buyer will inspect the house to ascertain the situation.

Once the buyer notices the roof is not okay, they request a discount off the estimated roof replacement amount. The buyer shall request a roof inspection to calculate the estimates before making an offer. And this brings us to an important question: does a seller pay for a new roof?

Does Seller Pay For New Roof?

As a seller, it’s not your obligation to pay for a roof replacement. But then, just like any sales, a show of good faith will go a long way. The answer to this question is not either yes or no because each property sale is unique.

What if a buyer requests a roof replacement? There are two options. The first option is to pay for the roof then increase the value of the property. Alternatively, you could lower the asking price while considering the total cost of roof replacement.

It’s easier to lower the price of the house because you don’t spend a dime. However, if you cannot convince the potential buyer to choose this option, you can move on to the alternative. In most cases, the buyer might be concerned about the safety or functionality of the home.

For other buyers, the replacement might be due to aesthetic reasons. Whichever the case, it helps when you have a seasoned real estate agent. They are good with negotiation. In addition to that, you can consult an inspector to examine the severity of the aging.

The bottom line is that you can agree with the buyer to smoothen the purchase process. Paying for a roof for aesthetics reasons isn’t as critical as, let’s say, safety or functionality.

Can You Sell A Home With A Bad Roof?

You can sell a home with a lousy roof and hope the buyer wouldn’t notice. But if they do, you must lower your asking price to accommodate the expected roof replacement cost. Replacing your roof is in your best interest.

If you are lucky, you can even make a profit from the new roof. Can you imagine selling a home with a leaking roof? Well, that would affect your position. When the roof has extensive damage, you have no option but to replace it or accept to lower the asking price.

Tips On Selling A House With A Bad Roof

  • Maintain Your Roof Accordingly

Just because your roof is old doesn’t mean it should be left to deteriorate. Therefore, clear the roof of debris and the gutters to allow the water to drain.

Moisture and minimal ventilation cause damage to roofs as well. Frequently check the moisture levels on the roof during routine maintenance.

  • Work With An Experienced Real Estate Agent

Experienced real estate agents will help you secure a good deal for your house, even with a seemingly lousy roof. In addition to hiring a qualified real estate agent, you need to consult an appraiser who will give you the best price.

 Whether you wish to sell your home with a bad roof or not, they’ll help you with the tips to follow to quicken the sale. Of course, they’ll help you get the best price for your home irrespective of the roof condition.

Should The Seller Replace The Roof?

You should replace the roof before selling, as this will increase the likelihood of receiving a higher offer from prospective buyers. As a seller, your driving factor is to sell your home as fast as possible at the best price, and a good-looking roof will help you achieve that.

Pros Of Replacing A Roof Before Selling

1. Change the appearance of your home.
From a distance, a new roof is both attractive and increases the salability of your home. If you consider the amount you invest in a roof replacement, you should get value for your money. How do you get value for your money? When you choose to install a new roof, it will attract more buyers. Depending on location and materials used (Shingles or slate), your roof can bring a return of 60% -110%.

2. You can even make a profit from installing a new roof.
If that’s not enough, a new roof will help in establishing some upgrades. Installing eco-friendly roofs is welcomed by most people because of the ongoing global climate discussion.

3. A chance to install eco-friendly roofs.
Chances are your prospective buyer supports eco-friendly solutions. Remember, eco-friendly roofs are energy efficient. Studies show that these types of roofs will cut your heating costs by half. This will help you during the negotiation process.

4. Leaves a good impression on the buyer.
You don’t want a buyer driving in and getting shocked because there are some missing shingles on the roof. In selling property, first impressions do matter!

5. An opportunity to extend the warranty of your roof.
Another excellent idea would be getting an extended system warranty to cover the roof. For one, the warranty boosts the confidence of the prospective buyer. It also increases the value of the appraisal.

While it may not increase the price by a considerable margin, it’s a value worth risking. Seeing a brand new roof motivates buyers to see the interior. If you decide to pass on the cost of replacement to the buyer, you may end up losing some of them, even if there’s a reduction in the asking price.

Cons Of Replacing The Roof Before Selling

1. Extra cost
The most pressing disadvantage of roof replacement is the cost implications. Spending a minimum of $7500 for a new roof is costly, despite the hope of recovering the money after the sale.

2. Unguaranteed ROI
Well, hope is a good thing, but it’s not a guarantee buyers will take the offer. It could be there are other sections of your home that need replacement, negatively affecting the value. On average, new roof replacement returns about 62% of the money invested. The national average is 68%.

When you consider the pros and cons, it’s easier to make the decision. The other option is to hire the roofers and examine the roof. With the estimates, you can easily see whether repairs are suitable instead of a new roof.

Should You Buy A House With An Old Roof?

It’s okay to buy a house with an old roof as long as the wear and tear would not cost much to repair. You should have the house inspected first to determine the exact condition of the home’s roofing.

A home sells in just slightly over three months. As a home buyer, you get to make an offer in record time! However, the time frame seems limited to inspect the property to satisfaction.

What you can do is request a hand in the process of inspection: work with professionals. What does it mean when your ideal home has an old roof?

An old roof isn’t necessarily damaged. What you need to ask yourself is the extent of wear and tear during the inspection.

Even if the roof is old, you shouldn’t walk away. Materials tend to be the differentiating factor. High quality, albeit costlier material in a 15-year-old home, might look better than a five-year-old roof with lower quality material.

Even so, a neglected roof has a shorter lifespan regardless of the quality of the material. On the other hand, you don’t have to worry about a well-maintained roof.

An old roof is also an excellent opportunity to get an upgrade. If you come across a beat-up roof, past its sunshine years, you can do with an upgrade.

Get yourself a modern, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient roof. Instead of walking away from the opportunity, ask for a discount then use the saved money to get a roof upgrade. You can switch from asphalt shingles to metal or spray polyurethane foam.

The polyurethane foam is durable. In the long run, the durable material will increase the home’s value if you decide to sell.

As a buyer, you get to negotiate with the seller for a better deal. The extent of the aging features may lower the price in some cases.

The seller has two options: pay for the roof replacement or lower the asking price to accommodate the roof replacement. Your justification for the discount is the fact that you carry the burden of replacing the old roof.

Lastly, it’s good to mention that an inspection is mandatory for the buying process. It will help you determine whether buying this home is worth it or not.

It is essential to know when to walk away. If you feel the roof is not up to standards, you can walk away after a home inspection from that deal.

Final Thoughts

While the seller is not obligated to replace a roof, it doesn’t hurt to do so. A well-done roof attracts buyers. It saves you the trouble of having to reduce the price of the entire house. That said, replacing a roof is a costly affair even when you use inexpensive products.

As a seller, it helps when you have it replaced because it reduces the time it takes you to sell the house. The house needs to be appealing to the eyes.

An old roof is relative. An older roof can still be fully functional and safe, while a newer roof can damage more than you can see on the surface. Simply put, a buyer should not determine the longevity of a roof by age only. 

Getting the roof inspected by a professional can help you choose the best decision for the home.

Also, check out our article Does The Seller Have To Replace The Roof? Read This First


Does a New Roof Increase Home Value and Should You Get a New Roof Before You Sell Your Home?

How Long Does It Take to Sell a House?


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.