Homeowner’s who have sagging, curling, damaged, or old roofs, may find the answer to this question is pretty clear. If your roof has some slight imperfections or is nearing the end of its life, deciding whether to replace it before you sell may pose a dilemma.
Roofs in disrepair can be a red flag for both buyers and lenders. Factoring in roof repair leads to lower sale prices and can kill mortgage approvals. Before you go any further, call a roofing professional for an inspection. Be aware of the age, condition, scope, and cost of repairs before you determine a course of action.
Here are four big questions every homeowner needs to answer before they decide to replace their roof or sell as-is.
How’s the market?
A comparative analysis of the similar homes in your area will reveal the expectations of buyers. If demand is high, buyers will be more willing to immediately shell out the cash to replace a roof. If houses are selling slowly, a major roof repair or replacement could completely dissuade buyers from even looking at your property.
Unless your roof is falling or past its useful life, you may be able to forgo replacement in a strong market. If the market is weak, you will end up paying for roof replacement in the form of a lower sale price or time wasted.
Can you afford it?
Some homeowners simply can’t afford the repair or replacement of their roof. Home equity loans can be used for roof replacement, but the debt must be settled in the sale. A loan may make more sense to a homeowner who plans to live in their home for a few more years.
If you simply can’t afford the roof replacement and don’t want to take out a loan, forgo the replacement, price your home to account for the impending repair, and be very upfront about the condition of the roof.
Will insurance cover some or all of the cost?
If your hang-ups are financial, investigate filing an insurance claim for damage sustained by storms. Because every homeowner’s policy is different, there is a slew of factors that determine whether your insurance company will pay for repair or replacement. It doesn’t hurt to try.
How much time do you have?
If you need to sell your house quickly, listen up. Major roof repairs or replacement will slow down the bidding and selling process. If you’re in a strong market and you need to get out quickly, expect the sale price to drop some if you forgo a roof replacement.
According to Remodeling Magazine, the average roof repair only recoups about 63 percent of its cost. A roof repair may not make dollars and cents if your goal is to sell quickly.
If you are planning on living in your home for a few more years or even through another snowy, rainy, or stormy season, the wisest course of action would be to replace your old or damaged roof. There isn’t much argument for leaving the rest of your home at risk for damage when the intent is to sell. It may begin paying for itself with lower utility bills.
The Bottom Line
Generally, if your roof is beyond its useful life, it will be a point of contention for inspectors, buyers, and lenders. It will save you time and headache to replace it.
If your roof needs some minor or major repairs, consider the scope, cost, market and sale deadline to decide if replacing your roof before you sell is worth it.