You have a beautiful home in a lovely neighborhood, but it’s been on the market for weeks with no offers. The problem could be your roof.
An old roof is one of the most common deal breakers in house sales. Homebuyers want to move into a house in good condition, not one that needs an expensive repair such as a roof replacement. However, if you’re planning to put your home on the market, a roof replacement could add to the value and appearance of your home, helping you sell it faster.
Even if you think your roof doesn’t need to be replaced before you sell your home, the age and condition of your roof will likely come up during home inspections, which are often required before a home sale goes through. At that point, a roof replacement could be needed for the home to be sold.
Should You Replace Your Roof Before Selling Your House?
When you’re thinking about selling your home, you may wonder whether a roof replacement should be among the repairs you make before listing your home. These questions are among those you should ask about whether a roof replacement will help you sell your home.
How Old Is Your Roof?
One of the first considerations of roof replacement should be the age of your roof. For example, is your roof 15 years old or 20? Whether it needs to be replaced depends on the materials, any damage, and where you live.
Asphalt shingles will last 15 to 30 years, but clay tiles last 50 years or longer. Metal roofing lasts up to 70 years, and slate tiles last 50 to 100 years.
Remember that a 30-year roof may not last 30 years, depending on where you live. In the northwest United States, where the climate is cooler, a 30-year asphalt roof might last 30 years. However, the same asphalt-shingle roof in Florida, which is subject to high temperatures, direct sunlight, and storms, may only last 10 to 12 years.
Homebuyers will ask about the age of your roof during the home sale process, so find out. If you haven’t replaced your home’s roof and can’t reach the previous owners to ask, check with the city or county building permit office to see if a permit was issued for roof replacement at your address.
Is Your Roof Damaged?
If you notice a few upturned shingles, it may be time to call a professional roofer for a consultation.
Roofing damage can show up in several ways. Curling or missing shingles, granules of shingle material showing up in the gutter, and cracks around chimney flashing are tell-tale external signs of a worn roof. Inside your home, watch your attic ceiling for signs of stains or sagging.
A roofing professional should be able to spot roofing problems and tell you how much a roof replacement would cost. Roofing experts should also be able to tell you if your roof will keep your house from selling or fetching a reasonable price.
How Much Would a Roof Replacement Cost?
The price of roof replacement depends on several factors. The materials you choose, the roofing company you hire, and the size of your home will determine your roof replacement cost. A new roof costs, on average, between $8,500 to $15,000. If you had a severely damaged or worn roof, you might also have damage to repair inside and outside your home.
If you can afford to pay for a roof replacement before selling your home, it’s best to pay the cost in full rather than finance it. While financing a roof replacement is an option, you’ll have interest charges and will find yourself paying for a roof replacement long after you have moved out of the house.
The other option is lowering the price of your home to allow for the roof replacement costs the new owner would incur. Not every homebuyer wants a roof replacement to pay for when buying a home. The potential costs and the unsightliness of an aging roof may turn away buyers, leaving your home on the market longer.
Sometimes the cost of a roof replacement may not be worth the benefits, especially when a roof isn’t very old or needs only the smallest of repairs. However, in other situations, roof replacement is a critical need.
Roof Replacement Danger Signs
Roof replacement can be essential to selling your house if your roof is in extremely poor condition. Signs that a roof replacement is a critical need to get your home ready for selling include these danger signs:
Patches of Missing Shingles
A roof that’s missing whole sections of shingles will need to be replaced immediately to avoid damage to the entire structure. Potential homebuyers will see significant sections of shingles missing and will consider other homes instead.
Roof Is Sagging
You should replace a sagging roof immediately to preserve the structural integrity of the home. A sagging roof not only will have homebuyers running in the opposite direction but is dangerous and could lead to a home being condemned.
Signs of Water Damage Inside
Signs that a roof replacement for your home is overdue are signs on the interior of the home, such as large water spots on ceilings, indicating that the roof leaks.
To make your house appealing during tours and open house events during the sales process, you’ll need to replace the roof and repair the interior damage as well. Otherwise, the water spots on the ceiling will turn away potential buyers.
Moss or Algae Growth
Mold, algae, or moss growing on your roof is unsightly and unsafe. Likewise, vegetation growing on your roof is a sign of trouble for homebuyers, so you’ll want to schedule a roof replacement.
Light in the Attic
Climb up to the attic of your home on a sunny day. If you see light through holes in your roof, it’s time for a roof replacement or repairs. These holes in your roof are letting water into your home and could promote mold growth, creating a health hazard.
Benefits of Roof Replacement
Replacing your roof before selling your home has plenty of advantages to the selling process for everyone involved. Buyers and sellers can enjoy these roof replacement benefits.
A home with a new roof has instant curb appeal that will make your home look better in photos and in person.
A new roof will make your home stand out. Potential buyers will notice a roof replacement when driving by or stopping in for an open house or tour. The color and condition of a new roof are unmistakable, but so are the signs of a worn roof that needs replacement.
Reduces Chance of Damage
A new roof will protect the interior and exterior of your home from damage. When potential buyers see your roof replacement, they’ll know that your ceilings won’t have water stains or damage. Walls inside or outside your home are not likely to have damage either. A roof replacement protects the entire home from structural damage and unsightly stains and cracks.
Peace of Mind for Buyers
Potential homebuyers will feel comfortable making an offer when they see your roof replacement. They’ll know that an expensive roof replacement or repairs to your home’s structure won’t be in their future. So they could confidently move into your home, knowing its roof is in top condition.
Chance of Higher Sale Price
The return on investment of a roof replacement can be significant. A roof replacement can add to the value of your home, bringing you the price of a roof replacement and thousands of dollars more when your home sells.
The appearance of your home’s exterior and the assurance of a roof that won’t immediately need replacement will cut the time your home will be on the market and will likely fetch a higher selling price. If you don’t make needed roof repairs or schedule a roof replacement, your only hope of a sale could be selling your home “as is” and settling for whatever you can get.
The Bottom Line
Depending on the condition and age of your roof, you should consider roof replacement before putting your house on the market. Your home will look newer, and potential homebuyers will pay more for a house that does not need a roof replacement. In addition, the investment in a roof replacement will bring you a higher selling price in less time.
Schedule a roof replacement immediately after spotting signs of damage, or better yet, before damage starts in cases when small repairs are needed to make roof replacement one of the house’s selling points. When roof disrepair threatens the structural condition of a house, a roof replacement is essential for selling your home.
The buyer of your house will appreciate not having to deal with a roof replacement, and you’ll be able to sell your home and move on with your life more quickly. So a roof replacement can be a win for buyers and sellers.