Over the years, you’ve worked hard to make your house an inviting home. You’ve spent money, time, and sweat on its upkeep and the upgrades you’ve made throughout the decades. As you prepare to list your home, roof replacement is probably the last thing on your mind. After all, it’ll soon be someone else’s problem—right?
Not quite. In fact, roofing problems can be a stubborn thorn in the side of the home selling process. In this article, we’ll review how a residential roofing replacement impacts your home's value and explore some of the reasons you should replace your roof prior to listing—and the consequences of trying to sell a home with a bad roof. Let’s dive in.
A prospective buyer may be willing to overlook overgrown landscaping (“easy enough to trim”), dirty carpet (“we were planning on replacing it, anyway”), or problems with the garbage disposal (“inexpensive to fix”). A roof that needs to be replaced, on the other hand, is probably a deal-killer. Given the expense and headache involved—as well as the possibility of existing tangential water damage caused by leaking roof—most buyers are willing to walk away from a home they love over roofing issues.
Even if you don’t disclose the age of the roof or its condition ahead of a verbal offer, the truth will come out during the buyer’s home inspection. A thorough residential roofing examination is a routine item on the checklists of most, if not all, reputable home inspectors. When they report back to the buyer with the condition of the roof, the would-be buyers will either back out of the deal or negotiate. It’s the latter option that can really hurt your home’s value.
When a problem is identified through a home inspection report, it’s an opportunity for the buyer and the seller to negotiate the price, often through their realtors. In most cases, buyers don’t bother negotiating price over minor items, like the aforementioned garbage disposal. No home is perfect, and there’s an implicit understanding on the part of someone buying a used home that some bumps, scratches, and bruises are just part of the deal. The market can also play a role: a buyer will be pickier in a buyer’s market and less discerning in a seller’s market.
An impending roof replacement is a much different story. Even if the homeowner doesn’t back out of the sale, their realtor is going to likely counter with one of two conditions:
In other words, there’s almost no way you’ll come out of this process without paying for the roof. Our recommendation: hire the Roofers York and replace the roof ahead of listing. In addition to avoiding a tense standoff with a buyer, you’ll also get more value for your home.
When a shingle or tile roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, you can start to tell. On a tile roof, tiles will be missing, and underlayment will be exposed. A shingle roof is even more noticeable, as shingles will be missing, peeling, faded, or pushed out-of-place. To be frank, the roof won’t be looking very good from the street. Which, coincidentally, is the first view your prospective buyer is going to get of your home.
Curb appeal matters because first impressions matter. That’s always been true, but it’s doubly so in the age of online listings. Your home might only get seconds between swipes or scrolls to make a positive impression on a buyer. If you catch their attention, you don’t want it to be for the wrong reasons. A visibly deteriorating roof is an instant signal: “Stay away!” Even if the buyer overlooks those poor shingles when viewing the online listing, they’re bound to see them when they come to visit the home. Just hope they don’t run away before you get to show them that open kitchen.
Of course, the opposite is also true: a newly replaced roof that looks tidy and well-cared for sends very different subtle messages about your home and the value it represents. When it comes to getting potential buyers to make offers, this matters.
We’ve already established that no buyer wants a roof with problems, or one that they’ll have to replace in the near-future. The opposite of that is also true: roofing replacement adds major value to your home, since you’re effectively giving the buyer years of peace of mind and security. Given the importance of a new roof to a home—especially an older home—it might even be in the top bullet points your realtor uses to describe your property. This aspect of the home is that important.
Unlike several other home upgrade projects such as kitchen or bathroom remodels, a new roof is an improvement that won’t make your home “the unicorn” compared to other homes in your neighborhood. This term is used to refer to homes with numerous upgrades that far exceed what other homes in the neighborhood offer. The homeowner, wanting to recoup their investment on said upgrades, lists for much higher than the other comps in their area. Often, this makes the home difficult to sell—while some distinguishing features are good, you generally want your home to fit what other homes in the area have to offer.
However, since a new roof is a practical, necessary project for all homes at some point, it’s typically a project that sees a high return-on-investment (62.9% ROI nationally, per data from HomeAdvisor) without deterring buyers from making offers. A new roof is a positive differentiation; homeowners may be willing to buy a less expensive home with an outdated kitchen, but they’re unlikely to do the same for a home with a failing roof.
No matter what market you’re in, a house that needs a new roof is probably going to be a tough house to sell. Unless you’re interested in a prolonged, headache-filled process where your home sits on the market for months, it’s probably better to just replace the roof ahead of the sale. However, be sure to talk to your trusted realtor first: they’ll not only be able to give you individualized advice tailored to your home and market, but they may also be able to connect you with a reputable roofer from a place like www.dgmroofing.com.
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