Prior to listing a property on the market an agent is asked:
“Do we need to replace this roof to sell our house”
New roofs are often advertised as a property of better value – for obvious reason. But what should you do if you have an old roof?
Is it worth the investment to replace it before you sell?
First, consider the cost. That varies widely depending on size and condition of the roof, where the house is, what materials you're using, and who would do the work. The price could vary between $5,0000 to $25,000 for a typical replacement. Fancy jobs, like a slate roof on a large home with a lot of pitch, can easily hit $100,000 or more.
Then, consider your market. If you are in a well sought-after location, buyers are going to be more likely to look the other way to get their hands on your property. Not so much on a cooler market when buyers might have more of an upper hand in that deal, as long as the property passes the property inspection – and finding the the roof doesn't leak.
And the answer may well vary depending on whether you're selling the home as an investment or as a home.
While a roof is one of the most important aspects of a house - along with mechanical systems, flooding and floodplain issues, rot, weather tightness and asbestos; replacing your roof prior to selling only removes one obstacle to a sale.
Note is it not a requirement to replace a roof prior to listing or selling any more than it is a requirement to replace windows, bathrooms or appliances.
The agent and owner do declare to the potential purchasers when the roof needs replacing and more often the seller and buyer are only too happy to deduct the price of the sale.
In case the roof has outrun its used by date, the potential buyer could decrease the overall value of the property by more than the price it would cost to replace the roof. In this case replacing the roof and advertising a 'brand-new roof' in the listing of your house can be a major positive for potential buyers. We love leaning on valuable attributes of a new roof when talking about a property we are selling and, when they need to explain the higher purchase price – the difference is huge.
Advice to someone selling their home that needs a new roof when it is rusted, damaged and leaky: Replace it (unless you absolutely cannot) and you will see the benefits all throughout the selling process. However, for most sellers, is that instead of a roof replacement, they should hire an inspector and check to see if there are areas of the roof that they can simply repair to ensure there are no active leaks or missing tiles, and then fix minor areas of deterioration. When the buyer comes through with their home inspector or the roof inspector, they will see that the roof has been maintained but potentially may need to be replaced soon. That gives you a little better leverage when negotiating any request for repair that comes your way.
It is not recommended that a seller fully replace the roof simply to put it up for sale, because I don't think there is a significant return in doing that. Often to replace a roof costs about $20,000, give or take, depending on the area you live in – an expense which may or may not be recover from the sale. Better to offer that as a credit during the request for repair and be able to negotiate that amount rather than spend that money up front and not see a return on it.
Every situation is different, for both the seller and the buyer, and the advice they get may vary from agent to agent. Opinions from inspectors could well vary, too. So as a seller, the best advice about whether to replace the roof probably is to weigh how much it will cost against how much you'll make in the sale with or without it.