Repair or Replace Roof?

Do You Need to Repair or Replace the Roof Before Selling Your Home?

Repair or replace roof shinglesUnless you can see the sky through a gaping hole, the question to repair or replace your roof before putting your house on the market isn’t an easy one to answer. And even with a gaping hole, the answer isn’t so cut and dry. Even then, it could be sold as-is or as a total rehab/tear down.

For our purposes, let’s assume your home will be an ordinary resale—the new buyer will occupy it.

You definitely want to get the most money for your home. And you most definitely don’t want to pour money into replacing or repairing a roof that you won’t living under. Now, look at it from the buyers’ perspective. They don’t want to invest thousands in a roof repair or replacement, especially after buying a home. The condition and age of your roof will impact buyers’ decisions, and depending on the issue, could become a considerable negotiating point that might not come out in your favor.

If your roof needs serious repair or a total replacement, and you don’t make those repairs or replace it pre-sale, expect to sell your home for less. How much less? The amount it’ll cost the new buyer to repair or replace the roof. Also, take into account that this may be a deal breaker for many buyers who prefer to purchase a home that doesn’t require extra work or expense on their parts.

Before putting your home on the market, get your roof inspected by a qualified roofer. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re dealing with, be it major or minor issues. Home inspectors can assess roofs, but why not kill two birds with one stone. A roofer can inspect your roof and provide a roofing estimate to perform the repair or replacement.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, homeowners in the West can expect to see a 62.9% return on a roofing replacement on average. It may be a valuable investment if your goal is to sell your home quickly. Anything you can do to present your home as move in ready and well maintained is advised. The one impression you don’t want your home to make is that it wasn’t kept up or will require a lot of work after they move in. Older roofs also impact the new owner’s property insurance coverage and rates. The goal is to eliminate as many buyer concerns (mental hurdles) as possible.

The current market can play a big role in your decision to repair or replace. If your roof needs work, but it’s located in a competitive market (like the Bay Area) then a roof in disrepair may not be a big deal to buyers. Given the home prices in our area, buyers could be willing to overlook roof issues and focus on submitting a winning offer. Pricing your home lower than others in your area to account for necessary roof repair or replacement could also make it more attractive to buyers who couldn’t afford a home in your neighborhood otherwise.

Lenders don’t look favorably on roofs in need of major repair or replacement. It’s not uncommon for loan approval to be contingent on making those repairs or replacement, which puts the burden on the seller. In competitive markets, buyers have been known to share costs with the seller, but it’s not required and typically only happens with extremely motivated buyers.

The answer to the “should I repair or replace my roof” question depends on many factors including the extent of repairs necessary, how quickly and for how much you’d like to sell your home and the market in which you’re selling. The first step in making the right decision is to contact an experienced San Mateo County roofer so you know exactly what condition your roof is in and where to start.

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