Over the years you have worked hard to make your house a welcoming home away from home. You’ve spent money, time, and sweat on the upkeep and upgrades you’ve made over the decades. As you prepare to list your home, the roof replacement is probably the last thing on your mind. After all, it will soon be someone else’s problem – right?
Not quite. Indeed, roofing problems can be a persistent thorn in the side of the sales process. In this article, we’re going to look into how a roof replacement affects the value of your home and examine some of the reasons why you should replace your roof before listing – and the consequences of trying to sell a home with a bad roof. Let’s dive in.
Roof problems can kill your sales
A prospective buyer may be willing to overlook overgrown landscaping (“easy enough to cut”), dirty carpet (“we wanted to replace it anyway”), or garbage disposal issues (“inexpensive to fix”). A roof that needs replacing is likely a deal killer. Given the cost and headache involved, as well as the potential for tangential water damage from leaking roofs, most buyers are willing to walk away from a home they love over roofing issues.
Even if you fail to disclose the age of the roof or its condition prior to an oral offer, the truth will be revealed during the buyer’s home inspection. A thorough roof inspection is a routine item on the checklists of most, if not all, reputable home inspectors. When reporting to the buyer with the condition of the roof, the potential buyers will either step back from the deal or negotiate. It is the latter option that can really degrade the value of your home.
You can also lower the return on your home
If a problem is identified through a home inspection report, buyers and sellers have the option to negotiate the price through their brokers, often. In most cases, buyers don’t bother to negotiate price on smaller items like the garbage disposal mentioned above. No home is perfect, and someone buying a used home has an implicit understanding that some bumps, scratches, and bruises are only part of the deal. The market can also play a role: a buyer is more selective in a buyer’s market and less demanding in a seller’s market.
An upcoming roof replacement is a completely different story. Even if the homeowner doesn’t get out of the sale, their agent is likely to counter one of two conditions:
- Reduce the price of the house to compensate the buyer for the cost of replacing the roof.
- Replace the roof before selling.
In other words, there is almost no way you can get out of this process without paying for the roof. Our recommendation: replace the roof before listing. Not only do you avoid a tense conflict with a buyer, but you also get more value for your home.
Replacing your roof can increase your curb appeal
When a shingle or tile roof is nearing the end of its life, you can tell. Bricks are missing on a tiled roof and the underlay is exposed. A shingle roof is even more noticeable as shingles are missing, peeling off, fading or being displaced. To be honest, the roof doesn’t look too good from the street. This happens to be the first opinion your potential buyer will get of your home.
Curb appeal is important because first impressions are important. It has always been like that, but in the age of online listings, it’s twice that. Your home may have seconds between swipes or scrolls to leave a positive impression on a buyer. If you get their attention, you don’t want it to happen for the wrong reasons. A visibly deteriorated roof is an immediate signal: “Stay away!” Even if the buyer overlooks these poor clapboards when viewing the online listing, he must see them when he visits the house. Just hope they don’t run away before you show them the open kitchen.
Of course, the opposite is also true: a newly replaced roof that looks neat and tidy sends very different subtle messages about your home and the value it represents. When it comes to getting potential buyers to come up with offers, this is important.
A new roof is an important selling point
We have already established that no buyer wants a roof with problems or one to replace in the near future. The opposite is also the case: a newly replaced roof gives your home a high level of added value, as you effectively give the buyer years of security and security. In fact, given the importance of a new roof on a home – especially an older one – it could be one of the most important items your agent uses to describe your property. This aspect of the home is so important.
Unlike several other home upgrade projects such as kitchen or bathroom remodeling, a new roof is an improvement that doesn’t make your home a “unicorn” compared to other homes in your neighborhood. This term refers to homes that have been upgraded well beyond what other homes in the neighborhood have on offer. The homeowner looking to amortize their investment in these upgrades will list a lot more than the other comps in their area. This often makes the home difficult to sell – although some differentiators are good, in general you want your home to match what other homes in the area have to offer.
However, since a new roof is a practical and necessary project for all homes at some point, it’s usually one that gets a high return on investment (62.9% ROI nationally, according to HomeAdvisor data) without a discourage buyers from submitting offers. A new roof is a positive differentiation; Homeowners may be willing to buy a cheaper home with an outdated kitchen, but they are unlikely to do the same for a home with a faulty roof.
Simplify Selling Your Home
No matter what market you are in, a home in need of a new roof is likely to be difficult to sell. Unless you’re interested in a lengthy, headache-ridden process where your home has been in the market for months, it’s probably better to replace the roof before selling it. However, speak to your trusted broker first: not only can they give you individual advice tailored to your home and market, but they can also connect you with a reputable roofer in your area.
Additional real estate resources
Buyer and seller tips about Snapzu
Real estate information on Reddit
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