Should You Replace The Roof Before You Sell Your Home?

It is a simple question but the answer is a little more complicated.  And, it may vary depending on the home and situation. Here are some considerations when deciding whether you should replace the roof before selling your home:

What is the age and condition of the roof? Is the roof in decent shape but at the end of its effective life span based on the manufacturer?  If so, then foregoing the roof replacement and reducing the price to reflect that may keep more money in your pocket as the seller. Or, as the seller, you can include in the sale a predetermined credit for the new roof to be paid through escrow. Tip: Obtain an estimate for the roof replacement by a licensed contractor prior to selling so buyers know the expected cost behind this repair.  This will also help minimize requests for increased price cuts or credits from the buyer.

The advantages to this approach:  The buyer may find value in using their own preferred contractor, materials, and timing to replace the roof. It also minimizes your exposure as the seller to unexpected repairs and expenses that may arise during the re-roof (just be sure to disclose any known issues).

If the roof is in disrepair and needs immediate attention (such as leaks or holes) then it may be in the seller’s best interest to replace the roof before selling. Especially if there are additional repairs (i.e. damage from leaking) that will need to be addressed and may add to the expenses.

The advantages to this approach: As a “big ticket” item, a new roof can be a big selling point for potential buyers (especially for lenders that may require that the roof pass an inspection before approving a loan). Also, if the seller is in charge of replacing the roof, he/she is better able to control costs. While a new roof will cost you money up front, you should be able to recoup most (if not all) of that expense in the higher sales price. Tip: Try negotiating a new roof (paid for by the seller) into the purchase contract once all contingencies are removed.

A third option you likely have is to sell “as is” to a cash buyer (typically an investor). Keep in mind that “as is” usually means that the buyer will not ask the seller to make the repairs, but expects to negotiate a discounted price for major repairs needed.

The advantages to this approach: Cash buyers typically have fewer contingencies which means a faster close of escrow due to no lender approvals or contingencies. For some, it comes down to convenience.   Not having to pay out of pocket for such expenses and deal with contractors, and/or not having to the prepare the home for sale (staging, showings, etc.) may be worth the lower sales price. This can be an ideal situation for sellers with sizeable equity that need access to the cash from the sale so they can move on to their next stage.

Whether you decide to replace your roof before you sell your home or not, just remember you have options. Talk to your real estate agent to get more information on what that looks like for you.

Please note: This article is for general information only and not intended to act as real estate advice. To get more information about your specific options, please contact your real estate agent.