Should I Replace My Roof Before Selling?

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, which home improvements make sense? When you want to attract buyers, you only want to pay for certain improvements. Not everyone wants the same things, after all. So why spend money on things that buyers may not value? It definitely makes sense to show your home in the best possible light, though. You don’t want it to come across as rundown or shabby. So here’s one question we hear quite often: should I replace my roof before selling?

As Usual, It Depends

You’ll have to weigh a few factors to come up with your answer. Those include:

  • Your roof’s condition.
  • Your urgency to sell.
  • Your local housing market.

Plus, if you’re working with a real estate agent, you’ll want to weigh their advice for selling your home fast for the maximum price.

Your roof’s condition

First off, if your home is in desperate need of a roof, you might be forced to spend that money as soon as possible. You have to ensure that your home does not suffer any damage, or any further damage. Missing shingles are a good example. During our rainy season your home needs to shed water effectively and even a handful of missing shingles can be risky.

shingle damage replace roof before selling
Shingle damage should be repaired promptly.

Another red flag about your roof’s condition is the excessive loss of granules from asphalt shingles. The granules detach from the asphalt substrate and end up in your rain gutters and on the sidewalk and lawn. Without those granules your roof is not able to resist UV radiation as it should. This does happen normally over time as the sun and rain and wind assault your roof. It can indicate a roof at the end of its lifespan, though.

Here in Florida another condition we see frequently is algae and mold growth over time. These unsightly stains plague asphalt shingles and really do look shabby, sort of like a peeling paint job. Some newer asphalt shingles include an algaecide that keeps those dark stains from occurring for many years. That feature is a huge bonus.

Home Inspections

In addition, if potential buyers notice that the roof is in bad shape they might wonder about other repairs you might have forgone anywhere around your home. Many buyers will get a professional home inspection and so will be informed about the condition of all the components in your home. That inspection will give an estimate of the age of the existing roof. You can also share your documentation if you put the roof on the house, as well.

A roof inspector will often use a drone these days.

If the inspection indicates that the roof has a few more years to go, it’s fine to sell with the existing roof. It’s common also to negotiate based on the impending need for the new roof. You and the buyer might agree to get quotes for a new roof, select one, and then lower the home price by that amount. In that case it would be crucial that you and the buyer have an explicit understanding and documentation of the process, timeline, and materials for the new roof. You do not want the entire home sale going awry due to a misunderstanding about material choice or other avoidable mistake.

Your urgency to sell Your Home

How urgently do you want to, or need to, sell your home? How firm are you on your asking price? Simply put, if you can wait patiently for the right buyer, you’ll be much better off. If you’ve already bought another home and are making two mortgage payments…ouch. So the point is, if you’re feeling a lot of urgency about selling that home, would a new roof make it more attractive? Or do you need to consider something else like really dropping the price to appeal to different buyers?

Your local housing market

Are homes selling quickly in your area, or in your neighborhood? Thanks to relatively low supply and low interest rates it’s been more of a seller’s market for a few years. That’s driven up the competition among buyers and many sellers received multiple offers. With that sort of competition you may not feel that you need to put a new roof on the house.

On the other hand, in a buyer’s market, what can you do to make your home stand out from the crowd? It’s common for people to touch up their home’s “curb appeal” with paint and landscaping when they’re preparing to sell. Those tend to be much smaller costs than a new roof, though, and a lot easier to justify. “Might as well” types of projects, you could say.

Will You Recoup Your Investment In A New Roof?

We don’t have great news for you on that idea. In unusual cases it could happen that your home has a lot of value and a terrible roof. In that case you might get lucky and find a buyer who just loves your home and has to have it. You could also have an exceptionally attractive or unusual home in a very tight real estate market. That would give you more leverage than is typical, with a home that receives multiple offers over asking price.

Unfortunately, you will normally only get back a fraction of what you spend on a new roof. Here’s some data you might find useful from the “2023 Cost vs Value Report.” Payback is only at 64% so when you put a new roof on just as you’re selling your home, you’re shortchanging yourself in a way. What if you look ahead a couple years and use some of the value of the new roof?

Should You replace Your roof before selling

No doubt this is going to be a tough decision for many folks. But we’re here to help. Whenever you’re ready, give us a call at 813-373-9088. Our team has more than 40 years of experience in roofing. You can also use this form and ask us, “Should I replace my roof before selling?” We will get in touch with you!

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